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Who are the great modern english voice actors?


elementary my dear baxter
Ok, so here's what got me thinking along these lines. I'm indulging some childish nostalgia on Disney+ and watching bits of Duck Tales and other 80s/90s Disney cartoons and I recently watched the first episode of Tale Spin. Not a bad show. Great music, though I think the opening kind of sucks and doesn't fit the high adventure tone. And now that I'm an old man, it's very, VERY noticeable that Baloo is not being voiced by Phil Harris. Which is understandable, the man was 85 at the time. The replacement does an admirable enough job, but it's still a bit distracting to me at times. At least it's not as bad as Jim Cummings' Tigger, which just makes it impossible for me to truly enjoy any Pooh content made past the original three shorts.

And it occasionally reminds me just how magnificent a lot of those old voices were. Phil Harris, Sebastion Cabot, Paul Winchell, these voices weren't just distinctive, but iconic. They didn't just give these characters personality, they made them unforgettable. And when I try to think of modern voice actors who give me the same chills, I often find myself drawing a blank.

Two who do come to mind for me are JK Simmons and Maria Bamford. Though in Bamford's case what's interesting is that despite her career being born out of doing wacky, cartoonish voices, her voice roles in cartoons seem to always be much more subdued, grounded personalities where you can barely tell it's her. Which should absolutely not be held against her because she nevertheless injects those characters with incredible believability and heart, but it's not that same in your face instant memorability as a lot of classic cartoon voices have.
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Johnny Unusual

I'd certainly hesitate to count the series of witches Maria does on Adventure Time "subdued". But they are great.

Alan Tudyk is proving to be a pretty great voice guy. I had NO idea he was the villain in Wreck-It Ralph, doing a perfect Ed Wynn.

Paul F. Tompkins is also amazing. His voice is recognizable but the range of his characters is very strong. Looking forward to him in more cartoons, particularly ones that really take advantage of this range.


(He, Him)
Tudyk is a great choice. His joker owes a lot to Mark Hammil, of course, but he’s no slouch himself. Always like it when he pops up in a old show.


Arm Candy
Let's see... Tony Jay, David Warner, Tim Curry, and Malcolm McDowell, to start with. I think Brian Blessed and Christopher Lee have done voiceovers.

When you say "English", do you mean actors from England, or the whole of the British Isles?


elementary my dear baxter
Oh shit how could I have forgotten Mark Hammil!

I meant playing voice roles in generally the english language, not necessarily from the country.

And Christopher Lee is definitely an iconic voice, but I'd be more likely to classify him as one of the greats that's passed on along with the various disney voice fellas I listed above.


Jogurt Joestar
Clancy Brown might be my favorite, when I think about it. Red Death in Venture Bros, Yakone in Korra, Mr. Krabs, and Lt. Anderson in Detroit: Become Human. (He's genuinely a bright spot in the game - he also did mocap so ymmv on whether it's truly "voice acting")


"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
Steve Blum jumped to mind immediately, followed by Carlos Alazraqui and E.G. Daily.

Special mention to the late Lorenzo Music.


Maria Bamford is definitely top tier. She is not used nearly enough.

Eric Bauza’s Bugs and Daffy are both amazing. His Bugs in particular has a range which that character hasn’t seen since Mel Blanc died.

H. Jon Benjamin only has one voice but he is great at wielding it in different ways. Bob and Archer are both dry and sardonic but Bob is very timid about it whereas Archer is brash. And Benjamin’s freak outs are bar none.
Kate Mulgrew is just a fantastic actress to begin with, but she shines really extra bright doing voice work because she can just cut loose. Love her to bits in everything I've seen her in.

Exposition Owl

more posts about buildings and food
I just finished a rewatch of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I think Dee Bradley Baker deserves a place in this pantheon for his animal noises alone.

Exposition Owl

more posts about buildings and food
Also Jennifer Hale, Grey Griffin DeLisle, and Kevin Michael Richardson. Alex Hirsch hasn’t had a ton of roles yet, but I really like him, too.
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Fearful asymmetry
Jeff Glen Bennett and Dee Bradley Baker are underrated. The former was Johnny Bravo (among many others) and the latter switched on the fly between an announcer's voice, Olmec, and various historical figures throughout the run of Legends of the Hidden Temple. Apparently Bennett's Zazu was so on point in the show The Lion Guard that it's almost impossible to tell him apart from Rowan Atkinson.

Kevin Michael Richardson is a fine VO, and I adore how he took the name "Victor Stone" when he played Heihachi and Spawn in Soul Calibur II. Apparently he's also got the best William Shatner impression in the business... at least that's what Maurice LaMarche says.


elementary my dear baxter
Man there are actually a LOT of great modern voice actors. I was clearly experiencing some tunnel vision.


Fearful asymmetry
There are so many. I mean, you've got your Tress MacNeille (the tour-de-force female voice over actress after June Foray died), your Phil LaMarr, your Billy West, your Rob Paulsen, and on and on the list goes. That's not even including the folks who passed away, like Russi Taylor and Rene Auberjonois, who's known primarily as a live-action actor but spent a lot of time doing cartoon work as well. Like this!



Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
LttP, but can't let this thread go without a mention of Keith David.


Just some poster
The others I thought of were already mentioned, so I'll just add Kath Soucie and Tara Strong.


She's not solely a voice actress, but I feel like between Bob's Burgers, Gravity Falls and BoJack Horseman, Kristen Schaal deserves a mention here.