[33] He regularly recorded for The Simpsons and filmed Herman's Head during the same day. The character is so great that, to make fans laugh hysterically, all he has to do is yell Skinner’s name. [76] He also voiced Eric in the American dub of the series Stressed Eric,[35] Harold Zoid in the 2001 Futurama episode "That's Lobstertainment! While the titular family are the stars of the show, Matt Groening populated the town of Springfield with various background characters who could facilitate everything from random gags to entire B-plots (and, as the series moved into its second and third decades on the airwaves and the writers ran out of ideas, even A-plots). "[11], He starred as psychiatrist Craig "Huff" Huffstodt in the Showtime drama series Huff, which ran for two seasons between 2004 and 2006, airing 24 episodes. [8] He decided to become an actor after performing in a school play at the age of 16, becoming "obsessed with acting" at the expense of his academic studies. I had to do so many voices. Possibly the most memorable single-episode character in The Simpsons’ history, Frank Grimes was introduced in the opening scenes of “Homer’s Enemy” as the unluckiest man in America. Azaria’s Jim Brockmire voice was a great bit by a great voice actor that turned into a fun viral short, but that alone couldn’t sustain a full-fledged TV show. Having known him from Hollywood Dog, casting director Bonita Pietila called Azaria and asked him to audition for the voice of Moe. [31] During the interview, Azaria described how watching the documentary had changed his perspective on the issue: "The idea that anyone, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad. [11][13] The show met with critical acclaim, receiving fourteen Tony Award nominations in 2005, with Azaria being nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. [88] In 2009, Azaria told Empire he was instead focusing on making a documentary about fatherhood. He is known for voicing a major variety of characters in the animated sitcom The Simpsons (1989–present), most notably Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Snake Jailbird, and formerly Lou, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Carl Carlson, and Bumblebee Man, among others. [118], On May 22, 2016, he was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) from Tufts University. [7] He was apprehensive about the project, disliking the lengthy schedule required of a lead actor in a single-camera series, and favoring the "sensibility" of cable shows. [13] Reuniting with The Birdcage director Mike Nichols, and being a huge Monty Python fan, he saw it as an opportunity he could not pass up, describing it as "so much fun that I haven't realized how tiring it is,"[11] and "the most fun that I've ever had in my entire life. [13] His next major film role was as television producer Albert Freedman in the 1994 film Quiz Show, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Reps for the show declined to comment. [111], Azaria is the godfather of Oliver Platt's son, George. Chalmers doesn’t just have his own iconic moments; he was involved in one of Ralph Wiggum’s most iconic moments when he called him “Super Nintendo Chalmers.”, While Dr. Hibbert is the most reliable physician in Springfield, Dr. Nick Riviera is the least reliable. [63], Azaria played Gargamel in the computer-animated/live-action adaptation of The Smurfs (2011). [7][13] From 1995 to 1999, Azaria had a recurring role in the sitcom Mad About You as Nat Ostertag, the dog walker. Hank Azaria said in an interview at TCA that he’s decided to no longer voice the character Apu on The Simpsons, following criticism about the role in a documentary ‘The Problem With Apu.’ As a child he believed that everyone could do this, but later realized that it was not a common talent. [4] He "didn't realize it [when he joined the show], but it became like a lab for a character actor. [1][40] Azaria served as an executive producer on the show and directed an episode of its second season. Known for voicing Moe Szyslak, Venom, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. [11] Azaria decided that television was a better arena and offered more opportunity, and moved to Los Angeles after being offered work with talent agent Harry Gold. Club that The Smurfs and Night at the Museum were films he agreed to do primarily for the money, but that "I won't even do that unless I think it will at least be fun to do...I really try to throw myself into it, figure out the funniest, cleverest way to get the material over, and make it fun to do and fun to watch. On The Simpsons, Springfield is populated by a colorful cast of characters, many voiced by Hank Azaria. The bulk of these supporting characters are played by Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer, who each have the uncanny ability to slip seamlessly between wholly distinctive voices. Chief Wiggum's more adept co-workers, Eddie and Lou, act as straight men to Wiggum's zany antics. [4] Since he joined later than the rest of the cast, Groening still considered Azaria the "new guy". "[31] Azaria also offered to stop voicing the character: "I'm perfectly willing and happy to step aside, or help transition it into something new. His father ran several dress-manufacturing businesses, while his mother raised him and his two older sisters, Stephanie and Elise. [4][7][14][15], Azaria did not expect to hear from the show again, but they continued to call him back, first to perform the voice of Chief Wiggum and then Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. [7] He made his television debut with a role in the pilot episode of the 1986 ABC comedy-drama series Joe Bash. … [96] He has since appeared as Brockmire on the NFL Network's The Rich Eisen Podcast to discuss the National Football League. [7][13] For his role of Claude, a French scuba instructor, in Along Came Polly, Azaria donned a wig and worked out extensively to get into the physical shape the part required. "[55], Since Huff's conclusion in 2006, Azaria has continued to make multiple film appearances. Hank Azaria says he is officially stepping down as the voice of Apu on “The Simpsons.” “I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something,” Azaria… Ben Sherlock is a writer, comedian, and independent filmmaker, and he's good at at least two of those things. [40], Returning to live-action television in 2011, Azaria starred in the NBC sitcom Free Agents, a remake of the British series of the same name. "[31] In response, Kondabolu tweeted his appreciation for Azaria's statement: "Thank you, @HankAzaria. He was also nominated for the award in 2009 and 2010, but lost to co-star Dan Castellaneta and guest star Anne Hathaway respectively. [34] In 1996, Azaria played gay Guatemalan housekeeper Agador Spartacus in the film The Birdcage. The actor voices many characters in … Whenever Principal Skinner screws up (which is a lot, because one of his students is Bart Simpson), Superintendent Chalmers isn’t too far away. He played Jim Brockmire, a legendary baseball announcer, fired for a profanity-filled breakdown live on air after discovering his wife was having an affair. [7] Both of his parents loved all forms of show business, which further spurred him to become an actor. When recording the part of "Jell-O Man" for a Jell-O commercial, he was told to make the voice he offered "more likeable and friendly so that children like him." Previously, he wrote for Taste of Cinema and BabbleTop. [10] He is also a regular poker player, appearing twice on Celebrity Poker Showdown and competing at other events, finishing a few places short of the bubble in the main event of the 2010 World Series of Poker. [57] Although the film received mixed reviews, critics praised Azaria's performance. Azaria is most famous for his voice work on The Simpsons. "[12], Up until 1998, Azaria was paid $30,000 per episode. [7] He attended Camp Towanda in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and now visits annually as a judge for the camp's Olympics. This return culminates in David proposing to Phoebe; she rejects him, and David leaves the show for good. Zack Sharf Feb 25, … [28] The dispute was later resolved, and Azaria and the rest of the cast received their requested pay raise, approximately $400,000 per episode. Azaria attended The Kew-Forest School in Queens' Forest Hills neighborhood. But each week, I thought it was going to be my last week because I really didn't think I had done that well. "[12] He concludes it is "the best job in the world, as far as I'm concerned. [115] He enjoys the music of Elvis Costello, and has stated that he would have been a therapist if he were not an actor. Hailed by many the greatest achievement in the history of television, The Simpsons is one of the most iconic shows on the air. Having known him from the failed pilot, casting director Bonita Pietila called Azaria and asked t… However, the issue was soon resolved and from 1998 to 2004, they received $125,000 per episode. [73] In 2016, Azaria starred in Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer with Richard Gere. [36] In 2003, Azaria played journalist Michael Kelly, the former editor of The New Republic, in the drama film Shattered Glass. [7] He played Joe in an episode of the sitcom Family Ties in 1988 in which he had one line, and the following year he played Steve Stevenson in an episode of Growing Pains. Although Milhouse brags that his dad is “a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory,” The Simpsons’ writers have made it clear that his life is far from enviable. Henry Azaria is an American actor, voice actor, singer, comedian and producer from New York. Before he had even seen a script, he recorded several lines of dialogue as Moe for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening", dubbing Collins' voice. His part—a one-line role as the police officer Maldonado—was edited out before the show was broadcast, although the role secured him admission to the Screen Actors Guild. He counts Grimes as the hardest, most emotional performance he has ever had to give in the history of The Simpsons. 9 Cletus Spuckler Springfield’s resident “slack-jawed yokel,” Cletus lives in a trailer on the outskirts of town with his wife Brandine, who is implied to be his sister, and their dozens of seemingly inbred children. After 30 years, Hank Azaria will no longer voice Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu on The Simpsons. He joined the show at age 22, having previously performed only one voice over as an animated dog in the Fox pilot Hollywood Dog. He is best known for his work in the popular animated TV comedy series ‘The Simpsons,’ which has been running since 1989. "[11] He voiced Venom/Eddie Brock in Spider-Man: The Animated Series between 1994 and 1996. [45] Despite Azaria mounting a campaign on Twitter to save it,[46] the series was canceled after four episodes due to low ratings. "[22] Two of the voices come from his time at college: Snake's is based on Azaria's old college roommate, while Comic Book Guy's voice is based on a student who lived in the room next door to Azaria and went by the name "F". [4] He studied drama at Tufts University from 1981 to 1985,[8] where he met and befriended actor Oliver Platt and noted that Platt was a "better actor" than he was and inspired him. With his hostile attitude and laundry list of criminal charges, Tatum is a pretty transparent parody of Mike Tyson, and Hank Azaria leans into this by playing the character with a high-pitched voice and a lisp. [43] In January 2007, he was confirmed to be directing Outsourced,[87] a film about two American workers who journey to get their jobs back, after their factory is moved to Mexico. In 2013, the family began renting a home on 80th Street in Manhattan, with plans to make a final decision on where to live in two years. View 152 images and 24 sounds of Hank Azaria's characters from his voice acting career. The 55-year-old actor told Slashfilms the news on Friday, though he will continue to voice others. He stated that "being funny with a funny voice is more my comfort zone, a broader character that I try to humanize, a kind of silly or wacky persona that I try to fill in," although he finds it "much easier to be someone much closer to myself," as it requires "less energy ... than playing characters that are so out there and high strung. [1][11] Although he did not expect the endeavor to be successful, he decided to become a professional actor so that he would not regret not having tried later in life. Hank Azaria Henry Albert Azaria, popularly known as Hank Azaria, is an American actor, comedian, voice actor, and producer. By the time it aired, the writing was sort of on the wall, and I don't blame them at all. Henry Albert Azaria (/əˈzɛəriə/ ə-ZAIR-ee-ə; born April 25, 1964) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian and producer. ", In early 2020 Azaria announced that he was stepping away from the Apu character, primarily because of the stereotypes and bias it perpetuated. [11][13] Godzilla was one of Azaria's first starring roles in a blockbuster film. "[11] Throughout the run of The Simpsons, Azaria has had to sing in character several times, a task which he describes as easier than singing normally. [23] Azaria, with the rest of the principal cast, reprised all of his voice roles from The Simpsons for the 2007 film The Simpsons Movie. I was spoiled by The Simpsons. He eventually selected a voice similar to that of Paul Winchell's from the cartoon. [4] The Smurfs writer David N. Weiss says Azaria "has a beautiful treasure trove of talent," and "became what you wished you were writing. [13] For his performance in Anastasia, Azaria won the Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production. [99], Azaria's friends refer to him as "the freakish mimic" due to his ability to copy almost anyone's voice, instantly after he has heard it. [5], Azaria became famous for his voice work in the ongoing animated television series The Simpsons. [84] He also voices the lead character, Texan border agent Bud Buckwald, in Bordertown, which started in 2016. [67] Azaria disliked the cartoon when it first aired, and considered Gargamel too one-dimensional a character and "just this straight villain";[67] he opted to make Gargamel "more sarcastic" than in the cartoon, but "discovered that there's no way to play Gargamel without screaming your head off at certain points – ramping him up and getting him very upset over Smurfs". D&D Beyond Ryan Lattanzio [34] Azaria was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his roles in both Mad About You (in 1998) and Friends (in 2003). [68] He interpreted him as "very lonely", adding that "he hates the Smurfs because they're such a happy family. [107] They previously lived in a four-bedroom house in Pacific Palisades, which Azaria bought from his Simpsons co-star Dan Castellaneta in 2011. [56] He worked with Stiller again on 2009's Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in which Azaria played the villainous pharaoh Kah Mun Rah, utilizing a Boris Karloff accent. [4] However, in 2012 he voiced several insects in a commercial for the Chevrolet Sonic. [54] Azaria described the latter as the "best work [he has] done. Hank Azaria’s Moe voice originated as an Al Pacino impression in early seasons, but the character’s voice has since evolved into its own thing. Henry Albert "Hank" Azaria (/ ə ˈ z ɛər i ə / ə-ZAIR-ee-ə; born April 25, 1964) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian and producer.He voiced many characters in the Fox animated television series The Simpsons.He also appeared in movies such as The Birdcage (1996), and on stage as Sir Lancelot in the Monty Python-inspired musical, Spamalot.He married Helen Hunt from 1999 to 2000. The character is a spot-on lampoon of every "comic book guy" in America. (Picture: Getty/ FOX) Actor Hank Azaria, who voices the … [85], Once The Simpsons was "going steadily" and Azaria had enough money to live on, he stopped working on commercials as he found them "demoralizing", feeling that he sounded sarcastic whenever he read for them. He made his 70 million dollar fortune with Brockmire, The Simpsons and Ray Donovan. And then I became surprised later on when I got dramatic roles. "[7] Nevertheless, by the show's second season he was performing multiple recurring voices and so was given a contract and made a permanent member of the main cast. [78][79][80] For example, Sandie Chen of The Washington Post said "Azaria has been honing his over-the-top Spanish accent since The Birdcage, so anything he says grabs some laughs",[81] while Emma Simmonds of Time Out called him an "unflappable presence, voicing two characters with style". We had a bunch of executives sitting in the room, all agreeing that The Larry Sanders Show was our favorite thing on television, but we couldn't do it on NBC, and nor would we want to from a business standpoint; it simply wouldn't make enough money. By Christopher Rose n The Simpsons star is one of PEOPLE's Sexiest Men With Pets. [30], In an April 24, 2018 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Azaria discussed his reaction to The Problem with Apu, a 2017 documentary by Hari Kondabolu that examined Azaria and other white actors who had played South Asian roles as stereotypes. He never explained it satisfactorily to me; I don't understand why. Hank Azaria Will No Longer Voice Apu on ‘The Simpsons’ — Report The immigrant Kwik-E-Mart proprietor has been a source of controversy on the Fox series for decades. Hank Azaria has retired as Apu’s voice. Homer's favorite bartender is quite possibly the most miserable person in Springfield. Hank Azaria, Actor: The Simpsons. [48], Azaria made his film debut in the direct-to-video release Cool Blue (1990), as Buzz. [11][19] Azaria, however, disputed this on LateNet with Ray Ellin, claiming that Apu was always intended to be stereotypical. He spent approximately 130 hours in the make-up chair over the course of the production. APU. [28] In 2008, production for the twentieth season was put on hold due to new contract negotiations with the voice actors, who wanted a "healthy bump" in salary. [11][51] Paul Clinton wrote that Azaria was "brilliant as the tortured (is there any other kind) artist Blitzstein. Though Azaria has had numerous live-action appearances on-screen, he's best known for his voice work. [94] In 2016, he starred in the world premiere of Dry Powder opposite Claire Danes, John Krasinski, and Sanjit De Silva, directed by Thomas Kail, at the off-Broadway Public Theater in New York City. Even characters like Gargamel, I've done. Azaria and the five other main The Simpsons voice actors were then involved in a pay dispute in which Fox threatened to replace them with new actors and went as far as preparing for the casting of new voices. [97] In November 2012, Azaria sued actor Craig Bierko over the ownership of the Brockmire voice. [92] In late 2007 he starred in Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention, playing RCA head David Sarnoff. [39] Azaria later commented on the show: "I wanted to do something really truthful and interesting and impactful. Hank Azaria was born on April 25, 1964 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA as Henry Albert Azaria. The divorce was finalized on December 18, 2000. It’s also ironic, because Robinson was famous for playing gangsters. Fandom Apps Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. After 30 years as a controversial Indian-American character on "The Simpsons," Hank Azaria has announced he will no longer voice the thickly accented Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. [112][113][114] Azaria is a supporter of the Democratic Party. Azaria is also known for his live-action roles in feature films such as The Birdcage (1996), Godzilla (1998), Mystery Men (1999), America's Sweethearts (2001), Shattered Glass (2003), Along Came Polly (2004), Run Fatboy Run (2007), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), and The Smurfs (2011). Born: 25-Apr-1964 Birthplace: Queens, NY. [58][59] Perry Seibert of TV Guide wrote that "thanks to Azaria, a master of comic timing. This eventually leads to Grimes losing his mind and accidentally killing himself in one of The Simpsons’ darkest moments. Reps for Azaria did not immediately return Variety’s request for comment. Springfield’s resident “slack-jawed yokel,” Cletus lives in a trailer on the outskirts of town with his wife Brandine, who is implied to be his sister, and their dozens of seemingly inbred children. [11], In the early 1990s, Azaria was in a relationship with actress Julie Warner. He joined the show having previously performed only one voice-over—as the titular animated dog in the failed Fox pilot Hollywood Dog, a show he described as "sort of Roger Rabbit-esque, where the dog was animated, but everybody else was real. Trained as a stage actor, Hank Azaria performed in several serious plays before moving to Los Angeles to try his hand at stand-up comedy. [67], Reviewers from The San Francisco Chronicle and The Boston Globe commented on Azaria's "overacting" in the role of Gargamel. [4] Azaria can "remember every voice I hear, famous or otherwise ... they kind of remain in the memory banks, so I'm ready to trot them out. Désert replaces Hank Azaria in the role, at least for that episode. [2][3] Azaria's father ran several dress-manufacturing businesses while his mother raised him and his two older sisters, Stephanie and Elise. In true Springfield fashion, the town’s least competent cop is the chief of police. But I never went, 'OK, now it's time to get a dramatic role. It was apparent it wasn't working. Azaria initially did a David Brinkley impression for Wiggum's voice, but it was deemed too slow and he switched to an Edward G. Robinson impression that’s since become iconic. As of 2020, Hank Azaria’s net worth is roughly $80 Million dollars. [86], Azaria wrote and directed the 2004 short film Nobody's Perfect, which won the Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Short at the US Comedy Arts Festival. The response to the film was mostly negative, but many reviewers praised Azaria's performance. 'S first starring roles in a blockbuster film two older sisters, Stephanie and Elise, casting director Pietila... 'S from the failed pilot, casting director Bonita Pietila called Azaria and asked t… Hank Azaria Added! And superhero movie fans them at all of television, the Simpsons ’ leaves the show 's seventh (... Aided his performance two married later that year time ' his work, appearing in several.! 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