Animation, as an art form, offers actors a new type of challenge. Using only their voices, they are tasked with bringing cartoon characters to life in a way that viewers could almost believe they were seeing real people.
While some actors are solely voice performers, such as the likes of Frank Welker, Billy West, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille and many others, some actors known for live-action work occasionally head into the booth.
Read on to find out about ten well-known live-action actors who have voiced cartoon characters.
Tia Carrere (Lilo and Stitch)
Hawaiian-born Tia Carrere is known for playing Cassandra Wong in the two Wayne’s World films and appearing in General Hospital.
Carrere has ventured into reality television, starring on Dancing With The Stars and The Celebrity Appearance.
In 2002, Carrere voiced Nani Pelekai, older sister of the female title character in the animated feature Lilo and Stitch.
She would go on to reprise this role in subsequent straight-to-DVD movies as well as a television series.
Will Friedle (Kim Possible)
Will Friedle played the eccentric, dimwitted older brother Eric Matthews for all seven seasons of Boy Meets World, a live-action sitcom.
Since that series ended in 2000, Friedle has mainly focused on voice acting.
One of his best known projects in terms of vieweship is Kim Possihle, in which Friedle voiced the title character’s best friend/sidekick/love interest, Ron Stoppable.
Drew Barrymore (Family Guy)
Barrymore famously starred in ET: The Extra Terrestrial as a child actress and has appeared in other films such as Scream, Charlie’s Angels, Donnie Darko and Fever Pitch, to name just a few.
Between 2017 and 2019, she starred on the Netflix horror-comedy series Santa Clarita Diet.
Since 2005, Barrymore has been a recurring guest voice on Family Guy, where she has voiced Jillian Russell, the airheaded ex-girlfriend of Brian Griffin.
Patrick Warburton (The Emperor’s New Groove)
Patrick Warburton is known for numerous live-action films and television series.
Some examples include Seinfeld, Rules of Engagement, The Tick, Ted, A Series Of Unfortunate Events and Scream 2.
In 2000, Warburton first voiced Kronk in the animated feature The Emperor’s New Groove. He also played Kronk in the spin-off television series, The Emperor’s New School, between 2006 and 2008.
Christy Carlson Romano (Kim Possible)
Christy Carlson Romano is no stranger to Disney, having starred in the sitcom Even Stevens (alongside a young Shia LaBeouf) between 2000 and 2003.
In 2002, Romano starred alongside fellow Disney sitcom star Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire) as well as Shawn Ashmore in the Disney Channel Original Movie, Cadet Kelly.
Between 2002 and 2007, Romano voiced the title character on Kim Possible.
Kevin McDonald (Lilo and Stitch)
Canadian comedian Kevin McDonald is known for the sketch series The Kids In The Hall, which aired from 1988-1995.
McDonald has guest-starred in a number of sitcoms including Friends, Ellen and That 70s Show.
In the world of animation, McDonald is known for being the voice of Wendy Pleakley in Lilo and Stitch.
Ashley Johnson (Recess)
Ashley Johnson has had a successful acting career, both as a child and an adult.
She has starred in the sitcom Growing Pains (1990-1992) and the crime drama Blindspot (2015-present), playing Patterson in the latter.
Although known for providing the voice of Ellie in the video game The Last Of Us, Johnson’s breakthrough animation role came much earlier.
Between 1997-2001, Johnson voiced Gretchen Grundler on Recess, reprising the role in the feature film and various straight-to-DVD movies.
Kelsey Grammer (The Simpsons)
Kelsey Grammer is perhaps best known for playing Frasier Crane in the long-running, classic NBC sitcoms Cheers and Frasier.
However, since 1990, Grammer has provided the recurring voice of Sideshow Bob, Bart Simpson’s nemesis in The Simpsons.
As a side-note, one of Grammer’s appearances on The Simpsons featured the introduction of Sideshow Bob’s father and brother.
The characters were played by John Mahoney and David Hyde Pierce respectively, who filled the same roles to Grammer’s character on Frasier.
Lacey Chabert (Family Guy)
Chabert starred as Claudia Salinger on Party Of Five between 1994-2000.
Other early roles include appearances on All My Children as well as featuring in films such as Lost In Space, Daddy Day Care and Not Another Teen Movie.
Between 1999-2000, Chabert was the original, uncredited voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy during the first season. Complications with scheduling on Party of Five as well as needing to focus schoolwork led to her exit.
Chabert’s voice has been featured in archived recordings in situations such as flashbacks or when Stewie Griffin has time-travelled.
Andrew Lawrence (Recess)
Andrew Lawrence has appeared in multiple projects as a child and adult. These include the series Brotherly Love (with his real-life brothers, Joey and Matthew Lawrence).
Lawrence has also appeared in Disney Channel Original Movies such as The Other Me and Jumping Ship, starred in Oliver Beene and has had guest star roles on Hawaii Five-0 and Melissa and Joey (which starred his brother Joey).
Between 1998-2001, Lawrence became the second voice of TJ Detweiler on Recess after the original actor, Sleepless In Seattle‘s Ross Malinger, went through puberty.
Lawrence, like Ashley Johnson, reprised the role in the 2003 feature film School’s Out as well as some direct-to-DVD movies before he too went through puberty and could no longer play TJ.