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Dan Castellaneta

Daniel Louis "Dan" Castellaneta' (born October 29, 1957) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian and screenwriter. Noted for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, he voices many other characters on The Simpsons, including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby and Hans Moleman.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Castellaneta started taking acting classes at a young age. He would listen to his father's comedy records and do impressions of the artists. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Castellaneta joined Chicago's Second City in 1983, and performed with the troupe until 1987. He was cast in The Tracey Ullman Show, which debuted in 1987. The Tracey Ullman Show included a series of animated shorts about a dysfunctional family. Voices were needed for the shorts, so the producers decided to ask Castellaneta to voice Homer. His voice for the character started out as a loose impression of Walter Matthau, but later evolved into a more robust voice. The shorts would eventually be spun off into The Simpsons. Castellaneta has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work on the show as well as an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in the Field of Animation in 1993. Castellaneta has co-written four episodes of The Simpsons with his wife Deb Lacusta.

Castellaneta has also had roles in several other television programs, including the live-action sitcom Sibs, The Adventures of Dynamo Duck, and the animated series Back to the Future: The Animated Series, Earthworm Jim, Aladdin, Hey Arnold!, Darkwing Duck and Cow and Chicken. In 1999, he appeared in the Christmas special Olive, the Other Reindeer and won an Annie Award for his portrayal of the Postman. Castellaneta has also released a comedy CD, I Am Not Homer, and wrote and starred in a one-person show titled Where Did Vincent van Gogh?

CareerEdit

Early CareerEdit

Castellaneta was born in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, on October 29, 1957, to Elsie and Louis Castellaneta. His father was an amateur actor who worked for a printing company. Castellaneta became adept at impressions at a young age and his mother enrolled him in an acting class when he was sixteen years old. He would listen to his father's comedy records and do impressions of the artists. He was a "devotee" of the works of many performers, including Alan Arkin and Barbara Harris and directors Mike Nichols and Elaine May. He attended Oak Park and River Forest High School and upon graduation, started attending Northern Illinois University (NIU) in the fall of 1975. He studied art education, with the goal of becoming an art teacher. He became a student teacher and would entertain his students with his impressions. Castellaneta was also a regular participant in The Ron Petke and His Dead Uncle Show, a radio show at NIU. The show helped Castellaneta hone his skills as a voice-over actor. He recalled "We did parodies and sketches, we would double up on, so you learned to switch between voices. I got my feet wet doing voiceover. The show was just barely audible, but we didn't care. It was the fact that we got a chance to do it and write our own material." He took a play-writing class and auditioned for an improvisational show. A classmate first thought Castellaneta would "fall on his face with improvisation" but soon "was churning out material faster than [they] could make it work."

Castellaneta started acting after his graduation from Northern Illinois University in 1979. He decided that if his career went nowhere he would still have a chance to try something else. He began taking improvisation classes, where he met his future wife Deb Lacusta. Castellaneta started to work at The Second City, an improvisational theatre in Chicago, in 1983 and continued to work there until 1987. During this period, he did voice-over work with his wife for various radio stations. He auditioned for a role in The Tracey Ullman Show and his first meeting underwhelmed Tracey Ullman and the other producers. Ullman decided to fly to Chicago to watch Castellaneta perform. His performance that night was about a blind man who tries to become a comedian and Ullman later recalled that although there were flashier performances that night, Castellaneta made her cry. She was impressed and Castellaneta was hired.

The SimpsonsEdit

Castellaneta is most famous for his role as Homer Simpson on the long-running animated television show The Simpsons. The Tracey Ullman Show included a series of animated shorts about a dysfunctional family. Voices were needed for the shorts, so the producers decided to ask Castellaneta and fellow cast member Julie Kavner to voice Homer and Marge Simpson rather than hire more actors. Homer's voice began as a loose impression of Walter Matthau, but Castellaneta could not "get enough power behind that voice" and could not sustain his Matthau impression for the nine- to ten-hour long recording sessions. He tried to find something easier, so he "dropped the voice down", and developed it into a more versatile and humorous voice during the second and third season of the half-hour show. Castellaneta's normal speaking voice has no similarity to Homer's. To perform Homer's voice, Castellaneta lowers his chin to his chest, and is said to "let his IQ go." Castellaneta likes to stay in character during recording sessions, and tries to visualize a scene in his mind so that he can give the proper voice to it. Despite Homer's fame, Castellaneta claims he is rarely recognized in public, "except, maybe, by a die-hard fan."

Castellaneta also provides the voices for numerous other characters, including Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby, Hans Moleman, Sideshow Mel, Itchy, Kodos, the Squeaky Voiced Teen and Gil Gunderson.

Castellaneta has won several awards for voicing Homer, including four Primetime Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" in 1992 for "Lisa's Pony", 1993 for "Mr. Plow", 2004 for voicing several characters in "Today I Am a Clown", and 2009 for voicing Homer in "Father Knows Worst". In 1993, Castellaneta was given a special Annie Award, "Outstanding Individual Achievement in the Field of Animation", for his work as Homer on The Simpsons. In 2004, Castellaneta and Julie Kavner (the voice of Marge) won a Young Artist Award for "Most Popular Mom & Dad in a TV Series". Homer was placed second on TV Guide's 2002 Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters, and in 2000, Homer and the rest of the Simpson family were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard.

Further CareerEdit

Castellaneta has been a regular cast member in several other television series. In 1991, he played Warren Morris in the short-lived ABC live-action sitcom Sibs. Heide Perlman, creator of Sibs, wrote the part with Castellaneta in mind. He also provided the voice of the eponymous character in The Adventures of Dynamo Duck, Megavolt in Darkwing Duck, "Doc" Emmett Brown in Back to the Future: The Animated Series, the lead character in Earthworm Jim and several characters, including Grandpa Phil and the mentally unstable ice cream truck driver, on Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold!. He guest starred as The Robot Devil in three episodes of Futurama, as well as the film The Beast with a Billion Backs.

Castellaneta has also made guest appearances in a number of television series episodes. In 1992, he guest-starred in an episode of the legal drama L.A. Law, as a Homer Simpson meetable character at a California amusement park who is dismissed for inappropriate behavior while in costume. In 2005, he appeared in the episode "Sword of Destiny" in Arrested Development as Dr. Stein, a deadpan incompetent doctor. In 2005, Castellaneta guest-starred as Joe Spencer in the Stargate SG-1 season eight episode "Citizen Joe". He also appeared in episodes of ALF, Campus Ladies, Castle, Entourage, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Friends, Greek, How I Met Your Mother, Mad About You, Married... with Children, Murphy Brown, NYPD Blue, Parks and Recreation, Reba, Reno 911!, That '70s Show, Veronica Mars, Yes, Dear, and Desperate Housewives.

He appeared as the Genie in the Aladdin sequel The Return of Jafar and on the 1994 Aladdin television series. The Genie has been voiced by Robin Williams in Aladdin, and Castellaneta described replacing him as "sort of like stepping into Hamlet after Laurence Olivier did it, how can you win?" He also provided Gene's voice in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. [8] Castellaneta portrayed Aaron Spelling in the 2004 NBC film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels, which followed the true story of how Spelling created the show. Other films in which Castellaneta has appeared include Nothing in Common, Say Anything..., Super Mario Bros., The Client, Space Jam, My Giant, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Recess: School's Out, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, The Cat in the Hat and The Pursuit of Happyness. In 2000, he won an Annie Award for his portrayal of the Postman in the animated Christmas television special Olive, the Other Reindeer. In 2006, he appeared in Jeff Garlin's independent film I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With along with several other Second City alumni.

On February 22, 2000, his first music CD Two Lips was published. It was followed on April 23, 2002 by his first comedy CD, I Am Not Homer, in which he and his wife perform several comedy skits. The majority of the sketches had been written and performed before the CD was recorded, and Castellaneta thought that it would be a good idea to preserve them "since [he and Lacusta] don't perform them much anymore." Some came from their sketch series on a local radio station in Chicago and had to be lengthened from the "two-minute bits" that they were originally, while several others were stage sketches performed in a comedy club in Santa Monica. Additionally, "Citizen Kane", a sketch in which two people discuss the film Citizen Kane with different meanings, was something the pair had performed at an art gallery. Castellaneta noted that "we already knew that these skits were funny, [but] some of them we polished and tightened." The skits were principally written by improvising from a basic point, transcribing the results and then editing them to the finished scene. Castellaneta chose the title I Am Not Homer as a parody of Leonard Nimoy's famous first autobiography I Am Not Spock, as well as to show that most of the comedy featured "is not the typical Homer comedy."

Alongside his television and film work, Castellaneta has appeared in a number of theatrical productions. In 1992, he starred in Deb & Dan's Show alongside his wife. In 1995, Castellaneta started writing Where Did Vincent van Gogh?, a one man play in which he portrays a dozen different characters, including artist Vincent van Gogh. He first officially performed the play at the ACME Comedy Theatre in Los Angeles in 1999. In 2007, he appeared in The Bicycle Men at The King's Head Theatre in London.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Film Role Notes
1986 Nothing in Common Brian
1989 Say Anything... Diane's teacher Uncredited
K-9 Maitre D'
The War of the Roses Gavin's client
1991 Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead Animated Mrs. Sturak
1993 Super Mario Bros. Narrator Credited as "Dan Castellenetta"
The Client Slick Moeller
Love Affair Phil
1995 Forget Paris Man test-driving car Uncredited
1996 All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 Tall customs dog
Space Jam Male fan
1998 Plump Fiction Bumpkin
Aladdin's Arabian Adventures Genie Vols. 1-4: Team Genie, Creatures of Invention, Magic Makers, Fearless Friends;
direct-to-video release
My Giant Partlow
1999 The Settlement Neal
2000 Joseph: King of Dreams Auctioneer
Horse Trader
Direct-to-video release
Rugrats in Paris: The Movie Priest
2001 Recess: School's Out Guard #1
2002 Harold Buttleman, Daredevil Stuntman Human Canonball
Return to Never Land Additional voices
Hey Arnold!: The Movie Grandpa Phil
Nick Vermicelli
2003 Kim Possible: The Secret Files Drakken's Goons Direct-to-DVD release
The Cat in the Hat Voice of Things One and Two
Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade BoE Agent #2 Direct-to-video release
2004 Adventures in Homeschooling Gus Hemple Short film
2006 I-See-You.Com Jim Orr
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With Dick
Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! Mr. Mysterio
Woodenleg Wally
Direct-to-DVD release
The Pursuit of Happyness Alan Frakesh
2007 Hellboy Animated: Iron Shoes Iron Shoes Short film on DVD of Hellboy: Blood and Iron
Chasing Robert Dan the Bookie
The Simpsons Movie Homer Simpson
Various characters
2008 Superhero Movie Carlson
Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs The Robot Devil Direct-to-DVD release
Immigrants (L.A. Dolce Vita) Mr. Csapo Dub of Hungarian film
Remembering Phil Dr. Seymour
Horton Hears a Who! The Wickersham Brothers
2011 Super 8 Izzy
Scratching the Surface Mr. Edelman
2013 Poetry Contest: Poems in History Homer Simpson (as the narrator's quotable voice)
2014 Humphrey Humphrey (voice)

TelevisionEdit

Year Series Role Notes
1987–1990 The Tracey Ullman Show Various characters Appeared in 49 episodes
1989–present The Simpsons Homer Simpson,
Abe Simpson,
Krusty the Clown,
Various characters
Has also written four episodes
Won four Primetime Emmy Awards
1990 ALF Steve Michaels Episode 4.21: "Stayin' Alive"
TaleSpin Dr. Zibaldo Episode 63: "The Incredible Shrinking Molly"
Bagdad Café Gilbert Episode 2.6: "Rainy Days and Mondays"
Working Trash George Agrande
42nd Primetime Emmy Awards Homer Simpson TV special
1990, 1992 Married... with Children Pete
Funeral Director
Episode 5.5: "Dance Show"
Episode 7.9: "Death of a Shoe Salesman"
1991 Dream On Phil Episode 2.3: "The 37-Year Itch"
Taz-Mania Mister Thickley Recurring role
Sibs Warren Morris Recurring role
Sesame Street Homer Simpson Voice; guest star (Celebrity Monster in the Mirror)
1991–1992 Darkwing Duck Megavolt/Elmo Sputterspark Appeared in 12 episodes
Back to the Future: The Animated Series Dr. Emmett Brown Appeared in all 26 episodes
1992 Lady Against the Odds Len Chisholm television film
Fievel's American Tails Chula the Tarantula Appeared in nine episodes
L.A. Law David Champion Episode 7.1: "L.A. Lawless"
Dinosaurs Zabar Episode 3.6: "Germ Warfare"
Tiny Toon Adventures Jeffries
Harvey
Episode 3.13: "Grandma's Dead"
Episode 3.20: "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toon Christmas Special"
Goof Troop Coach Roach Episode 1.64: "To Catch A Goof"
1992–1997 Eek! The Cat Mittens
Bill
Appeared in 11 episodes
1992 Animaniacs Dracula episode 29 Draculee Draculaa/Franken Runt
1993 The Pink Panther Voodoo Man
Additional voices
Recurring roles
Tracey Ullman Takes On New York Gordon HBO one-off special
Sonic the Hedgehog Lazaar Episode 1.5: "Super Sonic"; uncredited
Marsupilami Stewart Episodes 1.7 and 1.11
1994 The Critic Homer Simpson Episode 1.3: "Dial 'M' for Mother"
Wings George Wexler Episode 5.18: "Moonlighting"
The George Carlin Show Passenger Episode 1.7: "George Gets Some Money"
Related by Birth Warren Morris
Bakersfield P.D. Darian Ferguson Episode 1.17: "Last One Into the Water"
Street Sharks Mega Shark Bot Episode 1.6: "Enter Blades"
Grace Under Fire Mr. Rudder Episode 2.5: "Jimmy's Girl"
The Tick Mole King Episode 1.11: "The Tick vs. the Mole-Men"
1994–1995 Aladdin Genie
Frajhid the Ice Efreet
Appeared in all 86 episodes
Episode 27: "Of Ice and Men"
1995 Murphy Brown Tony Lucchesi Episode 7.17: "Specific Overtures"
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes Alan Winsdale
1995–1996 Earthworm Jim Earthworm Jim

Evil Jim

Appeared in all 23 episodes
1996-2003 Dexter's Laboratory Additional characters
1996 The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper Additional voices
Friends Zoo Janitor Episode 2.12: "The One After the Superbowl: Part 1"
NYPD Blue Gus Episode 3.15: "Head Case"
Quack Pack Additional voice Episode 1.13: "Koi Story"
1996–2004 Hey Arnold! Grandpa Phil
1997 Cybill DaVolio Episode 3.17: "Kiss Me, You Fool"
The Drew Carey Show Stan Episode 2.20: "Two Drews and the Queen of Poland"
Nightmare Ned Number 1 Episode "Alien Abduction"
The Online Adventures of Ozzie the Elf Comet & Blitzen
1997–1999 Cow and Chicken Earl and various characters
1998 Rhapsody in Bloom Chelton television film
Hercules: The Animated Series Homer the reporter Episodes 1.18: "Hercules and the Comedy of Arrows" and 1.26: "Hercules and the Trojan War"
1998–2001 Everybody Loves Raymond Bryan Episodes 2.20: "T-Ball" and 6.8: "It's Supposed to Be Fun"
1998–2003 Rugrats Jonathan Recurring role
1999 Mad About You Rory O'Grady Episode 7.10: "Win a Free Car"
Johnny Bravo Harvey Episode 2.11: "A League of His Own/Johnny Goes to Camp/Buffoon Lagoon"
Oh, Grow Up Sven Jorgensen Episode 1.7: "Hunter's Metamorphosis"
Nash Bridges Eddie Day Episode 5.9: "Crosstalk"
Olive, the Other Reindeer The Postman TV special
1999–2003,
2008–2013
Futurama Robot Devil Episodes "Hell is Other Robots", "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", "The Beast with a Billion Backs Part 4", "Ghost in the Machines", "The Six Million Dollar Mon", and "Calculon 2.0".
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Various characters Appeared in eight episodes
2000, 2001 Batman Beyond Mr. Brooks
Guard
Kobra Commado
Episode 2.13: "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot"
Episode 3.10: "The Curse of the Kobra: Part 1"
Episode 3.11: "The Curse of the Kobra: Part 2"
2001 The New Woody Woodpecker Show Additional voice Episode "Ya Gonna Eat That?/Chilly & Hungry/Brother Cockroach"
Yes, Dear Walt Episode 1.12: "Where There's a Will, There's a Waiver"
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Milt Fields television film
Disney's House of Mouse Genie Episode 1.2: "Big Bad Wolf Daddy"
2002 Jackie Chan Adventures Jumba Episode 2.23: "Into the Mouth of Evil"
Kim Possible Various characters Appeared in three episodes
2002–2003 Reba Eugene Fisher Episodes 2.7: "Mommy Nearest" and 2.17: "The Feud"
2003 The Pitts Morty Episode 1.4: "Dummy and Dummier"
All Grown Up! Jonathan
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius Professor Crank
Hulk Jimmy
Episode 2.5: "Operation: Rescue Jet Fusion"
Episode 3.10 "The N-Men"
The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show Kung-fu Trainer Episode 1.1: "Kung-fu Kitty"
Justice League Minister Episodes 2.7 and 2.8: "Maid of Honor" Parts 1 and 2
Duck Dodgers Martian sage
Football player #3
Episode 1.10: "Quarterback Quack/To Love a Duck"
Frasier Brad Episode 11.7: "Maris Returns"
That '70s Show Agent Armstrong Episode 6.5: "I'm Free"
2004 Party Wagon Wild Bill Hickok
Clerk
Cheyenne #2
television film
Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Charlie's Angels' Aaron Spelling television film
The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour Goddard's evil robot voice television film
As Told by Ginger Dave Bishop
Jeweler
Episode 3.3: "About Face"
2004 Complete Savages Frog
Mr. Horner
Episode 1.6: "Free Lily"
2004–2008 The Batman Arnold Wesker/Scarface Appeared in three episodes
2005 Stargate SG-1 Joe Spencer Episode 8.15: "Citizen Joe"
What's New, Scooby-Doo? Officer McBride Episode: "A Scooby-Doo Valentine"
Arrested Development Dr. Stein Episode 2.15: "The Sword of Destiny"
2005 Firehouse Tales Stinky TV series
2005 Loonatics Unleashed College Professor Episode 1.6: "The Comet Cometh"
2006 The Jeff Garlin Program Ted
Veronica Mars Dr. Kinny Episode 3.2: "My Big Fat Greek Rush Week"
Casper's Scare School Stretch television film
Legion of Super Heroes Boris
Captain Howdy
Coluans
Episode 1.4: "Fear Factory"
2006–2007 Campus Ladies Dean Dewey Episodes 1.7: "Safety Bathroom" and 2.7: "Safety First"
2007 Sands of Oblivion Cecil B. DeMille television film
Entourage Andrew Preston Episodes 4.2: "The First Cut Is the Deepest" and 4.7: "The Day Fuckers"
2007–2011 Greek Dr. Milton Hastings Appeared in nine episodes
2008 Monk Tiny Werner Episode 6.12: "Mr Monk Goes to the Bank"
Reno 911! Commissioner Jerry Salerno Episode 5.11: "Junior Runs for Office"
Relative Stranger Gary television film
2009 Castle Judge Markway Episode 1.1: "Pilot" and 1.8: "Ghosts"
Ghost Whisperer Frank the Ghost Episode 4.12 "The Joint's Haunted"
How I Met Your Mother Milt Episode 4.22: "Right Place Right Time"
Bones Officer Novarro Episode 5.7: "The Dwarf in the Dirt"
Desperate Housewives Jeff Bicks Episode 6.10: "Boom Crunch"
2010, 2012 Late Show with David Letterman Homer Simpson Episodes "17.69" and "20.38"
2010 Tracey Ullman's State of the Union Agent Episode 3.5
The Good Guys Walter Diparko Episode 1.7: "Hunches & Heists"
The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! Himself
Homer Simpson
TV special
2011 Parks and Recreation Derry Murbles Episodes 4.3: "Born & Raised" and 5.8: "Pawnee Commons"
2012 FOX 25th Anniversary Special Homer Simpson TV special
The Office CEO of Prestige Direct Sale Solutions Episode 8.23: "Turf War"
Family Guy Homer Simpson Episode 11.2: "Ratings Guy"

Video GamesEdit

  • The Simpsons (1991) - Homer Simpson
  • Playtoons No. 1: Uncle Archibald (1994) - Sneetches, In the Night Kitchen Narrator
  • The Simpsons Cartoon Studio (1996) - Various characters
  • Toonstruck (1996) - Flux Wildly
  • Virtual Springfield (1997) - Various characters
  • ClayFighter 63 1/3 (1997) - Earthworm Jim, Boogerman
  • Driver (1998) - Answering machine callers
  • Planescape: Torment (1999) - Nordom
  • Y2K: The Game (1999) - Additional voices
  • Earthworm Jim 3D (1999) - Earthworm Jim
  • The Simpsons Bowling (1999) - Various characters
  • Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge (2001) - Genie
  • The Simpsons Wrestling (2001) - Various characters
  • The Simpsons: Road Rage (2001) - Various characters
  • Kingdom Hearts (2002) - Genie
  • The Simpsons Skateboarding (2002) - Various characters
  • The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003) - Various characters
  • Metal Arms: Glitch in the System (2003) - Krunk
  • Kingdom Hearts II (2005) - Genie
  • Cartoon Network Racing (2006) - Earl
  • Happy Feet (2006) - Ramon, Elephant seal #1
  • The Simpsons Game (2007) - Various characters
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories (2008) - (Archived voice acting)
  • BioShock (2007) - Toasty splicer
  • Bioshock 2 (2010) - Toasty splicer
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix (2013) - Genie

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