6 Blockbuster Movies Featuring 'The Simpsons' Voice Actors

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6 Blockbuster Movies Featuring ‘The Simpsons’ Voice Actors

The Simpsons Movie (2007). Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The first episode of The Simpsons aired on December 17, 1989. Over 25 years later the series still features the same six primary voice actors who voice almost all of the residents of Springfield. While voicing the characters on the most successful animated series in history certainly pays the bills, all six actors have done plenty of work outside of The Simpsons, including appearing in (or lending their voices to) blockbuster movies.

Of course, all of these actors were involved with the extremely successful Simpsons Movie that was released in 2007. However, these are the other most successful films they each had roles in.

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Dan Castellaneta – ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Actor Dan Castellaneta poses for photos in the press room at the 2009 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre LA Live on September 12, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic). Getty Images

Perhaps the most recognizable voice on The Simpsons is that of Dan Castellaneta, who voices Homer, Grampa Simpson, and Krusty the Clown, among others. He has had a long career in voiceover work since first portraying Homer, including voicing Doc Brown on the Back to the Future animated series and taking over from Robin Williams as the Genie in Aladdin: Return of Jafar and the animated series.

Despite Castellaneta's great success in animation, the most successful film he is featured in isn't an animated one. Castellaneta played the supporting role of Alan Frakesh in The Pursuit of Happyness, the 2006 Will Smith drama that grossed $307 million worldwide. As an in-joke reference to Homer's favorite snack, Castellaneta's character even asks Will Smith's character for a donut in the movie.

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Julie Kavner – ‘Doctor Dolittle’

Actress Julie Kavner (voice of Marge Simpson) poses next to the unveiled stamps of Simpsons characters at the Fox Studios in Los Angeles, California, on May 7, 2009, during a dedication ceremony for the first day of issue of the stamps by the US Postal Service. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images). Getty Images

Prior to becoming the voice of Marge and her sisters Patty and Selma on The Simpsons, Julie Kavner had several regular roles on television and was a favorite supporting actress of Woody Allen (she appeared in seven of Allen's movies from 1986-1997). But ever since the beginning of The Simpsons she has scaled back her acting work.

Because of that, by far the most successful movie she is featured in is Eddie Murphy 1998's family comedy Doctor Dolittle, for which she voiced a pigeon. Also among the cast of the movie is frequent Simpsons guest star Albert Brooks, who voiced a tiger.

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Yeardley Smith – 'As Good as It Gets'

:BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 24: Actress Yeardley Smith arrives at Environmental Media Association Hosts Its 25th Annual EMA Awards Presented By Toyota And Lexus at Warner Bros. Studios on October 24, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic). Getty Images

Yeardley Smith voices the least amount of regular characters on The Simpsons, primarily voicing just Lisa. She also hasn’t done that much work in movies, though she can be seen in City Slickers and Toys. The most successful movie she appeared in was the 1997 Jack Nicholson comedy As Good as It Gets, in which she plays the assistant to Greg Kinnear’s character.

Incidentally, As Good as It Gets was co-written and directed by James L. Brooks, who is one of the Executive Producers of The Simpsons. As a not-very-subtle in-joke, the name of her character in As Good as It Gets is Jackie Simpson.

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Hank Azaria – ‘Pretty Woman’

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 76 -- Pictured: Actor Hank Azaria during an interview on July 24, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images). Getty Images

Though he’ll always be best known for voicing characters like Moe, Chief Wiggum, and Apu, Hank Azaria is one of the more accomplished actors among the Simpsons cast. He has appeared in dozens of movies and television series, including his fan favorite role as Phoebe’s scientist boyfriend David on Friends.

However, the most successful movie Azaria appeared in is one that he only has a very minor role in. Azaria appeared in the 1990 Julia Roberts romantic comedy Pretty Woman as a detective. Though Pretty Woman grossed $463 million worldwide, it's easy to forget that Azaria had a role in it.

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Nancy Cartwright – ‘Godzilla’

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 08: Actress Nancy Cartwright attends 'The Simpsons' unveiling of Bart Simpson's 'Bartman' character sculpture at USC School of Cinematic Arts on May 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage). Getty Images

Unlike other Simpsons voice actors, Nancy Cartwright rarely acts in front of the camera. In addition to voicing characters like Bart, Ralph Wiggum, and Nelson Muntz on The Simpsons, Cartwright voiced characters on Rugrats, The Critic, Animaniacs, and dozens of other series. Because of that she hasn't had much time for movie acting.

Cartwright had a small role in the 1998 version of Godzilla, which was a critical bomb but grossed $379 million worldwide. Curiously, she played the secretary to a character played by Cartwright’s Simpsons co-star Harry Shearer. On top of that, one of the main stars of Godzilla is another one of Cartwright’s Simpsons co-stars, Hank Azaria, and Godzilla is voiced by Frank Welker, who voices the Simpsons' dog and cat (among other animals on the series). Godzilla is the only non-Simpsons related project that features this many Simpsons cast members.

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Harry Shearer – ‘Star Wars’

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22: Harry Shearer visits the The Drop at The GRAMMY Museum on October 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images). Getty Images

Of all the Simpsons voice actors, Harry Shearer has been acting the longest by far. In fact, his acting career started over sixty years ago when he appeared in 1953’s Abbot & Costello Go to Mars at nine years old. While his best known non-Simpsons roles are his frequent collaborations with Christopher Guest in movies like This Is Spinal Tap, the voice behind Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, and Principal Skinner actually contributed his versatile vocals to one of the most successful movies of all time, Star Wars.

In the original 1977 movie (which has grossed $775 million worldwide over multiple releases), Shearer dubbed the voice for the Imperial Officer who tells Darth Vader that nobody was found aboard the Millennium Falcon when it was captured by the Death Star. Although this was not confirmed by Shearer until a few years ago, the officer’s voice is unmistakably his. It’s amazing that his voice ended up in two of the most successful media properties of all time.