The goal of bringing absolute believability to a fictional character, live-action or animated, is what every actor strives for. Those committed to their craft that combine experience, passion and skill are likely to succeed. Those gifted with exceptional talent who focus on maximizing their potential by finding their own niche, quickly break apart from the pack. After years of
honing their craft and consistently delivering memorable performances in which the character impacts an indelible image on the viewer, the public and the industry take notice, singling out the best.
“I’m getting paid to do what got me in trouble in the 7th grade,” jests Rob Paulsen, who is one of the most popular voices in animation and won a Daytime Emmy in 1999 as “Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program” for Pinky and the Brain (WB). Though nominated twice
previously, the victory was especially sweet due to the most formidable competition ever – fellow nominees Louis Anderson, Ernest Borgnine, Dom DeLuise, and Jeffrey Tambor. In addition to his Emmy, Rob won back-to-back Annie Awards in 1997 and 1998. “I absolutely love what I do and thank my lucky stars for twenty-five years of full-time employment in this business,” he admits. Interestingly, in those twenty-five years, Rob now has the unique opportunity to have gone full circle with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series; having voiced Raphael in the original show, he is now voicing Donatello in Nickelodeon’s much anticipated TMNT.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Rob “loved cartoons like most kids,” and aspired to be a professional hockey player. “Fortunately, I learned pretty quickly that I had neither the talent, temperament nor dental insurance to pursue a career as a pro hockey player”. Ironically, acting was something to “fall back on” and Rob has voiced beloved characters in several iconic
animated series: Yakko Warner in Animaniacs and Carl Wheezer in Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, but may be best known to animation fans the world over as the voice of the boisterous and energetic laboratory mouse Pinky in two hit series Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky and The Brain and Pinky, Elmyra, and The Brain for Warner Brothers.
“It’s a treat to portray a complex character,” Rob explains about Pinky, a gangling mouse with funny teeth, a head filled with clouds and an inane imagination that is punctuated with a staccato laugh. “Besides... where else could I find a job where emotional outbursts and odd exclamations like ‘Egad!’, ‘Narf!’, ‘Poit!’, ‘Splonk!’, and ‘Zort!’ are allowed?”
With over 2,000 half-hours of animation to his credit, Rob’s versatility shines in his starring roles as the voices of Yakko, Dr. Scratch‘N’Sniff and Pinky in the Peabody and the two-time Emmy award-winning series, Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs also for Warner Brothers. Currently, he can be heard as Peck in Back at the Barnyard, Birdbrain in T.U.F.F. Puppy, Jack Fenton in Danny Phantom and various characters, including Mark Chang in Fairly Odd Parents, all on Nickelodeon, as well as a number of Disney projects including The Little Mermaid III; Ariel’s Beginning, Jacques and the Grand Duke in Cinderella and the role of Bobble in the Tinkerbell DVD series. For young fans of Play House Disney, Rob provides the voices of Al in Can you teach my Alligator Manners? and Ze Fronk in Tasty Time with Ze Fronk and Toodles in
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Paulsen’s extensive credits include on-camera roles in numerous motion pictures including Body Double, Stewardess School, Eyes of Fire, The Perfect Match, and Warlock. His television acting credits include guest starring roles on MacGyver and St. Elsewhere. Additionally, he is one of the most sought-after voice actors in the commercial arena, performing in over 1000 of them including the voice of Mr. Opportunity on behalf of Honda automobiles from 2004 thru 2010. Rob is also the host of a successful podcast, Talkin' Toons, available at www.robpaulsenlive.com and iTunes.
Realizing how fortunate he is and passionate about giving back, Rob supports various charitable organizations, particularly Operation Smile, The Wounded Warriors Project and cancer and Muscular Dystrophy research.
A certified “gearhead”, Rob is also passionate about sports cars and motorcycles in addition to being an avid golfer. He also still laces up the ole skates every now and then to scratch that hockey itch. Rob spends the majority of his free time with his wife, Parrish, son Ash and two Yorkshire terriers, Pooshie and Tala.
Renae Jacobs was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Lansing, Michigan where she began creating voices at the age of nine for a local children’s show, The Land of Play. At the age of 11 she moved to Los Angeles with her family and began singing and performing on stage. She is a graduate of the USC School of music and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
Renae has performed nationally and internationally throughout her career and has worked in voice over for radio, television, instructional DVDs, and animation. She is best known as the voice of APRIL O’NEIL in the animated series THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.
Renae has been heard on numerous animated shows such as Rose Petal Place and Rose Petal Place: Real Friends as the voices of Orchid and Lilly Fair in 1984 and 1985 with Marie Osmund. In 1985 she voiced characters on a series of books on tape from the toy line “The Land of Pleasant Dreams” as well as characters on the Hanna Barberra series, It’s Punky Brewster! That same year she worked with Carroll O’Conner on the The Glo Friends Save Christmas. In 1986 she began the much loved My Little Pony and Moon Dreamers series. Of course, she created the voice for April O’Neil, Lotus Blossom and other characters along the way on The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during the show’s amazing 9-year run.
She provided voices for Hanna Barbara’s The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda, The animated film, The Page Master and the voice of Baby Glen in Bride of Chucky. You would have also seen her on the game series Masters of the Maze (1994–1996) as the “Lady of the Maze” hosted by J.D. Roth.
Cam Clarke is a prolific American voice actor and singer, well known for his work in animation and video games. Clarke is well known for providing the voices of Leonardo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series and Shotaro Kaneda in the 1989 original English-dub of Akira. He often voices teenagers and other similarly young characters. He also voices Liquid Snake in the Metal Gear video game series. Cam began his acting career performing with his family on the musical variety show, The King Family . He continued to perform with his family on various TV specials until the 1980s when he got his first voice acting roles in the animated shows Snorks and Robotech. Clarke was taught by established voice actor Michael Bell. Clarke is best known for his roles as Kaneda in Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira (Streamline-dub), Max Sterling and Lancer in the 1985 Robotech series, Rigadon in Around the World with Willy Fog, Dogtanian in Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, Leonardo and Rocksteady in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, and Liquid Snake in the popular Metal Gear Solid series of video games. Clarke is also the voice of Prince Adam and He-Man in the 2002 version of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe TV series. He is also known to RPG fans as Ryudo in Grandia II, Kratos Aurion in "Tales of Symphonia" and Will Raynard in "Tales of Legendia." He voices the male Blood Elf in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. He uses a voice similar to Liquid Snake's for this portrayal. He is also many of the male characters on Monster High, and the skater cartoon, Grinders. To date, Clarke has voiced over one hundred titles. Cam is easily recognizable by his distinct voice which can fluctuate from adolescent sounding (Leonardo) to deep and soothing (Kratos) and to a faux British (Liquid Snake). Also acts as Pavel - In the popular Neverwinter Nights PC release.
As a busy Hollywood voice-actor, Townsend Coleman is perhaps one of the most recognizable voices on TV. For 16 years, he was the voice of NBC's "Must See TV" and "Comedy Night Done Right" primetime comedy promos, including hits from Seinfeld and Frasier to 30 Rock and The Office, as well as the promos for "The Tonight Show" starring Jay Leno (then Conan), "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (then Jimmy Fallon), "Last Call with Carson Daly" and "Saturday Night Live". He currently voices the daily on-air promos for the long-running “Live with Kelly and Michael” and radio spots for “Judge Judy”, in addition to regularly voicing primetime promos for ABC Family, The Hub, and now, ABC-TV.
But the character behind the voice really came to life in 1985, when Coleman, having just moved to Los Angeles from Cleveland, Ohio, auditioned for and got a part on the animated hit, "Inspector Gadget". As the voice of Corporal Capeman, Gadget's bumbling assistant, he embarked on an entirely new career, providing the voices for some of the most memorable characters in cartoons and commercials. In addition to thwarting evil as the voice of "The Tick", Fox Kids' hit animated series, he has provided the voices for many popular cartoon characters, including Michaelangelo, Rat King, and Usagi Yojimbo on the original, long-running cartoon series, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". He also voiced Waldo on "Where's Waldo?", Gobo, Architect, and Wrench on NBC's animated "Fraggle Rock", Scott/Teen Wolf on "Teen Wolf", Scratch on "Spacecats", the voice of Wayne Gretzky on "Prostars", Riot on "Jem and the Holograms", Dragonflyer on "Glofriends", Rewind on the 80’s "Transformers", and 20 years later, Sentinel Prime on “Transformers: Animated” for Cartoon Network.
In addition to his active animation career, Coleman has also been the voice behind numerous national TV ad campaigns for clients such as Home Depot, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Mattel Hot Wheels, Sunny Delight, Colgate, Jenny Craig, Blockbuster Video, Greyhound, AT&T, Eggo Waffles, Taco Bell and the voice of "Spot", the precocious red 7-Up dot... even a few "Keebler elves" and "Raid bugs".
Born in New York City in 1954, Coleman spent his childhood in Denver, Colorado and Cleveland, Ohio. After studying architecture and theater at the University of Colorado in Boulder, he returned home to Ohio to pursue a radio career. Ten years as a disc jockey at various Cleveland radio stations led to numerous commercial and voiceover jobs. He appeared as host of the nationally syndicated TV series "The Dance Show" prior to moving his family to LA in 1984 to take advantage of career opportunities on the west coast. Coleman's primary career focus was acting in TV and film, but soon changed, as he foresaw a more lucrative career specializing in the field of voiceovers. Having performed in numerous theatrical and musical productions back in Cleveland, the fall of 2013 saw Townsend re-ignite his passion for theatre after a 30 year hiatus by performing the role of Uncle Sid in Eugene O’Neill’s ‘Ah, Wilderness!’ at The Actors Co-op in Hollywood.
Barry Gordon began his nearly six-decade long career at the age of three by singing Johnny Ray’s “Cry” on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, winning 2nd place (1st place when to an Italian orphan’ choir). At six, he recorded “Nuttin’ for Christmas,” being the youngest performer ever to have a top ten record. “Nuttin’” is still listed by Billboard magazine as one of the top ten best-selling Christmas records of all-time.
At thirteen, he earned a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut as Nick in Herb Gardner’s “A Thousand Clowns,” a role that he later reprised in the successful film version.
Barry became a fixture as a character actor in feature film and television, most prominently as a co-star on the hit series “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Fish,” as the lawyer Gary Rabinowitz, Carroll O’Connor’s nemesis on “Archie Bunker’s Place.” He also recurred as Larry David’s Rabbi on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” His voice was heard for decades as the Nestle Quik Bunny and he originated the voice of Donatello on the television animated megahit, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Outside of show business, Barry’s interests moved into law and politics. In his mid-thirties, he returned to school, graduated summa cum laude as a political science major from California State University, Los Angeles, and went on to Loyola Law School, graduating in the top five percent of his class. Putting his love of show business and law together, he became active in the Screen Actors Guild and ultimately became its longest-serving National President, holding the office for seven years - one year longer than either Charlton Heston or Ronald Reagan. In 1998, he was the Democratic candidate for Congress, coming within three points of defeating a popular Republican incumbent.
After a six-decade career, Barry has decided to turn to mentoring others and is currently a visiting professional, teaching acting for the stage, screen, and television in the MFA program at his alma mater, Cal State L.A.