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Mario voice actor Charles Martinet is stepping back from the role

Martinet will continue working with Nintendo as the company's "Mario Ambassador."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

August 21, 2023

2 Min Read
Artwork showing Mario in his classic red and blue outfit

Charles Martinet is stepping back as the voice of Mario in Nintendo games.

It's a historic announcement given Martinet's performance has become, for many, completely synonymous with Mario himself.

The veteran voice actor has worked for Nintendo since 1991, initially voicing the famous plumber at trade shows before eventually making his debut in a game after providing the voice for Mario in 1994 release Mario Teaches Typing.

Since then, Martinet has voiced Mario in every Nintendo-published title that features the character, including acclaimed platformers like Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. He also returned to voice the character in other major franchises like Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., and Paper Mario.

Although best known for voicing Mario, Martinet has done voice work for other Nintendo characters including Luigi, Wario, Donkey Kong, Baby Mario, and Waluigi.

Mario Ambassador

Nintendo explained that Martinet will be handed the brand new role of "Mario Ambassador" after over three decades of service, and will "continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all."

"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," added Nintendo in a statement shared on Twitter.

Although Martinet has become the voice of Mario in Nintendo titles, others have stepped in to voice the character in other mediums. For instance, actor Chris Pratt was hired to voice Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which debuted earlier this year and went on to earn an estimated $1.35 billion at the box office.

Update: A Nintendo representative confirmed to Axios that Martinet did no voice work for October's Super Mario Bros. Wonder. The game is the first mainline Mario title since 2017's Super Mario Odyssey, and meaning his (possible) final portrayal came with 2022's Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

When asked about who will portray Mario going forward, the representative reportedly said that the game's voice actors "will be credited in the game credits, so please wait for [Super Mario Bros. Wonder] to be released."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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