How Do You Differentiate Between A Celebrity Voice Actor And A Regular, Well Known Voice Actor

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Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2014
2,646 8
When it comes to voice actors, we know about the legends: Mel Blanc, Frank Welker, Grey DeLisle Griffin, Tara Strong, Tom Kenny, Jessica DiCicco, and so forth. Veteran voice actors like the aforementioned are praised not only with their range, but also how they bring the characters to life. When it comes to theatrical films not based on tv shows, studios tend to get A list actors not generally associated with voice acting to play the main roles (Angelina Jolie, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, among others). However, the line seems somewhat blurred for those who have a good amount of both on camera roles and voice roles.

For example, I visit the trivia section on tv tropes for various movies (as well as the celebrity voice actor page itself), I’ve seen John Goodman listed under the “celebrity voice actor” category for movies like Bee Movie, The Princess And The Frog, The Emperor’s New Groove for a few examples. On the flipside, we have Sumalee Montano, who made her voice acting debut as Arcee on Transformers Prime, and has landed a bunch of roles after that, such as Katana on Beware The Batman, Ronnie Anne’s mother on The Loud House, Mera in Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis, and Arachne in an episode of Be Cool Scooby Doo, to name a few, and is considered to be a regular, well known voice actor in the animation community.

One thing that helps differentiate between a celebrity voice actor and a regular, well known voice actor is when they replace an A-List actor from a theatrical film in spinoff media, such as with Chris Rock, who voiced the titular Osmosis Jones and Marty from the Madagascar films, only to be replaced by Phil LaMarr in the former’s titular cartoon and the latter in video games. However, even then, this line seems somewhat blurred. Sticking with John Goodman, The Emperor’s New School had Pascha voiced by Fred Tatasciore only for John to resume the role in season 2. Keep in mind that tv shows are produced on a lower budget than films. John has also lent his voice to other tv and DVD projects, such as Santa in the 2012 SpongeBob Christmas special, Hal Houston in Curious George 3: Back To The Jungle, and the protagonist of Father Of The Pride.

It’s often advised for aspiring voice actors to start in small acting roles or on camera roles before making it big in voice acting, like how Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill had a bunch on camera roles before their roles as Batman and Joker in Batman: The Animated Series helped them maintain successful voice acting careers (though Mark also has the 1970s Jeannie cartoon from Hanna Barbera). Plus, someone like Tara Strong has a few decent on camera roles like Gwen in the Sabrina The Teenage Witch movies from the late 1990s and Miss Collins on Big Time Rush.

With that in mind, the question I want to ask is this: “How do you differentiate between a celebrity voice actor and a regular, well known voice actor? Feel free to comment.


Staff member
Oct 5, 2014
5,295 36
Austin, Texas
What it comes down to is whether or not a celebrity voice actor continues to be a big help in animation. I would say Mark Hamill is a mix of both obviously he is a well-known actor due to Star Wars but he had a large contribution to the animation industry by voicing long term characters.

While I think a celebrity voice actor is someone who doesn't really do much when it comes to voice acting just appearing as a star character for an episode of the show. Of course they could play more roles but for the most part, they don't really perform characters that play a big impact on the show, and they are mainly actors.


Staff member
Nov 24, 2012
1,556 12
New York
I ask these questions

A) Are they more known for their live action roles?
B) Do they only voice act in films?
C) Do they only voice act on a TV show if it's a guest appearance?
D) If they do voice act a regular character on a show, is it a character they portrayed in the film based on that show?
E) If there's a show based on that movie, were they re-casted because they were too expensive?

Mark Hamill only fits one of these (A), while John Goodman fits three of these (A, D, and E).


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