Meet Actor Charles Martinet, the Voice Behind Nintendo’s Mario
If you’re a fan of vintage Nintendo games, you’ll be familiar with Charles Martinet’s work. When the Nintendo 64 game console first hit the market in 1996, Martinet was the voice actor behind iconic video game characters Mario and Luigi. He’d eventually voice others like Wario and Donkey Kong.
Martinet actually first interviewed for the role in 1990, when he says he “crashed an audition” with Nintendo, per Great Big Story. He was told to do the voice of an Italian plumber from Brooklyn on the spot, and Martinet nailed it on the first try. He got the part. (His inspiration for Mario? Petruchio from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.)
“The [Mario] character brings out the best in me,” notes Martinet, who explains that he hears from fans, young and old, all the time, who write to him thanking him for all the memories.
For more on Martinet, watch the video below.