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Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, is stepping back from the role
Mario's iconic voice actor is transitioning to a new role
Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario for more than two decades, is stepping back from the role.
Martinet first took the role of Mario in 1992’s Super Mario 64 after the voice actor crashed an audition. His prompt from Nintendo’s directors was that he was “an Italian plumber from Brooklyn” and Martinet decided to go with a fun, friendly voice that would appeal to children. The rest, as they say, is history.
Nintendo made the announcement in a statement on X, which you can read in full below, but it doesn’t answer the obvious question about how the company plans to replace Martinet in the future.
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“Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64. Charles is now moving into the brand new role of Mario Ambassador. With this transition, he will be stepping back from recording character voices for our games, but he’ll continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all!
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Mario voice actor steps down
👋 Charles Martinet is stepping down as the voice of Mario
😮 Martinet has voiced Mario since 1992
🍄 Martinet will now become a Mario Ambassador
🤷♂️ It remains to be seen who will replace Charles Martinet as Mario in the future
“It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him. Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a future date.”
Martinet is also the voice of other characters in Nintendo’s beloved series, including Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and the baby equivalents of the two plumbers, baby Mario and baby Luigi.
Charles Martinet was controversially overlooked for The Super Mario Bros. Movie in favor of Chris Pratt. The American actor does have a small cameo in the film, but many still wish the real voice of Mario was given the role he so truly deserved.
With Nintendo moving on from Martinet, who is now 67 years old, there’s a chance that the portly plumber could sound differently in the future. Nintendo may choose to continue Martinet’s work via an impressionist or – dare I say it – use AI, but there will only be one Charles Martinet.
If you’d like to get acquainted with Martinet’s work, you don’t have to look far in Nintendo’s catalog of games. All of the best Mario games for Switch star Martinet’s unmistakable voice, who will always be Mario to countless generations.
Thank you, Charles.