I always find it interesting to see the people behind some of my favorite cartoon characters. Growing up and watching almost exclusively animated television shows, it never quite connected that there were people who did this for a living. I just thought that these cartoons suddenly...appeared on my screen. Now, as an adult-ish person, I feel like I should shed some light on the unsung heroes from my younger years.
To get into the proper frame of mind to read this article, press play and travel back to a better, simpler time: childhood.
Spanning generations, Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo is one of the better-known cartoon franchises. If you've ever wondered what the faces behind these characters look like, you've come to the right place! Granted, there are a number of people have voiced these characters through varying channels, but I'll just be talking about the original and current actors. Here are some of the voice actors, old and new, who have helped give life to the Scooby gang!
Casey Kasem (1969-1997, 2002-2009): Casey Kasem was an American Disc Jockey and radio host, most famously co-founding and hosting the American Top 40 from 1970 to 2009. Kasem was the original voice of Shaggy Rogers for 35 years, despite originally wanting to audition to play Freddy. Sadly, Kasem passed away in July at the age of 82.
Matthew Lillard (2002, 2004, 2009-present): Lilard not only voices Shaggy currently, but he also played him in the live-action movie Scooby-Doo and Scooby‑Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. You might also recognize him from various roles ranging from Stu Macher from Scream (1996) to Brian Speer in The Descendants (2011).
Nicole Jaffe David (1969-1973): Nicole Jaffe David only voiced Velma for a few years before getting married, but she was integral in building the personality of this strong, empowering female cartoon character. She is currently a talent agent. She considers Heather North Kenney, who voiced the original Daphne, as her first client, as the two were roommates at the time and she suggested Kenney for the role.
Mindy Cohn (2002-present): Mindy Cohn is another recognizable face having played Natalie Greene on The Facts of Life (1979-1988).
Heather North Kenney (1970-1986, 1997, and 2003): Technically Kenney was the second actress to voice Daphne, but after Indira Stefanianna left the show to get married, Kenney took over after being recommended by Nicole Jaffe David. Kenney starred alongside Kurt Russell and Raffles the Chimpanzee in Disney's live-action movie The Barefoot Executive in 1971.
Grey DeLisle (2001-present): DeLisle is a voice actor known for playing another redheaded lady, Timmy's sinister babysitter Vicky in The Fairly OddParents, as well as Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender in addition to the current Daphne.
Frank Welker (1969-present): Not only was playing Fred Welker's first voice acting role, but he still plays the gang's all-American leader. Welker has an extensive resume including roles like Marvin White in Super Friends (1973) Doctor Claw in Inspector Gadget, Nibbler (speaking and non) from Futurama, Ray Stantz and Slimer in The Real Ghostbusters, Abu in Disney's Aladdin, and various voices in The Simpsons and the Transformers franchise. In 2007 he became the new voice of Garfield.
Don Messick (1969-1985, 1988-1991, 1994): Messick was the original voice of Scooby-Doo, the dog that gave us all sandwich-eating envy and made us actually want to eat dog treats (don't lie, you wanted to eat Scooby Snacks too). His many, many voice roles were mainly for other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Most notably, Bamm-Bamm Rubble in The Flintstones, Astro in The Jetsons, Sebastian the cat in Josie and the Pussycats, and Papa Smurf in The Smurfs.
Frank Welker (2002-present): Initially Frank wanted to read for Shaggy, but ended up playing Fred and taking over for Messick after he passed away.
To hear these original voices in action, check out this awesome video The Voices of Scooby-Doo:
What do you guys think, do the faces match the voices? What were some of your favorite cartoons as a kid? Let me know in the comments section!