Charles Martinet: The Man Who Voiced The World’s Most Famous Plumber, Mario

Charles Martinet 1

Charles Andre Martinet is a voice actor best known for providing the voice for Mario, the star of the Nintendo franchise. He also voiced Luigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Toadsworth, and the narrator for Runner 2 and Runner 3. Also, notably, he is the dragon Paarthurnax’s voice in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Charles Martinet speaks Spanish and French perfectly since during his youth he lived in Spain and France. Most recently, Charles Martinet has been in the news because he has been replaced as the voice of Mario by Guardians Of The Galaxy star Chris Pratt. However, Charles Martinet is still a part of Nintendo as an ambassador. In this post, we will find out more about Charles Martinet. Let’s get started.

Charles Martinet: All You Need To Know

When was Charles Martinet born?

Charles Martinet was born on September 17th, 1955 in San Jose, California, USA. On his mother’s side, his family lineage traces back to the pilgrims who came to America on the Mayflower voyages in the 17th century. Charles Martinet’s father’s family had moved from France to the USA after the First World War. 

Where did Charles Martinet study?

A lot of Charles Martinet’s childhood was spent in Europe. His family moved to Spain when Martinet was 12, and then to Paris. Charles Martinet completed his school education from the American School of Paris. After graduating from high school, Charles Martinet enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley to study International Law. However, he dropped out of the course in his senior year after getting disillusioned with the way he was taught. 

How did Charles Martinet start acting?

After dropping out of his course at UC Berkeley, Charles Martinet took up acting classes. After spending some time learning acting, Charles Martinet also started an apprenticeship at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He spent many years with the Berkeley Rep and eventually moved to London to study at the Drama Studio London. While in the UK, Charles Martinet found out that he had a knack for accents and dialects. After completing his course in London, Charles Martinet returned to the USA and rejoined the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He also co-founded the San Jose Repertory Theatre.

How did Charle Martinet start voicing Mario?

Working for Nintendo since 1991, Charles Martinet started working as Mario for the Mario In Real Time (MIRT) system developed by Nintendo. This setup involved a television screen with a 3D Mario head which would converse with the attendees. Developed by SimGraphics, the MIRT system allowed Charles Martinet to see the attendees through a hidden camera and interact with them as required. The MIRT system at Nintendo stalls became very famous during conventions at that time. 

First video game appearance as Mario

Charles Martinet appeared as Mario for the first time with the Super Mario Pin Ball machine released in 1992. However, that was an uncredited appearance. Charles Martinet made his first official voice acting role with the legendary Super Mario 64, released in 1996. He has provided the voice for Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Toadsworth, Baby Mario, and Baby Luigi in most video games where these characters speak. He also voiced the enemies Wart, Mouser, Tryclyde, and Clawgrip from Super Mario Advance.

Other video games

His voice acting appears in both the English and Japanese versions of the video games. Martinet also provided the voiceover for the boxers and the announcer for the Super NES game Punch Out!! He also voiced Vigoro in Sega’s Dreamcast and GameCube RPG Skies of Arcadia. He is also the voice of Homunculus in the Konami PlayStation 2 video game Shadow of Destiny and also contributed the voices of the Reader’s Rabbit (in the English version) and the “Little Explorers” video games (also in the English version).

Charles Martinet: Career Highlights

Martinet has also worked as a voice actor in commercials, comics, and promotions. At E3 2005, Charles (as a character from Animal Crossing ) could be found wandering the virtual village featured in the Animal Crossing: Wild World playable demo. Martinet also voiced Mario as the voice announcer for the GameCube’s Pac-Man Vs.

With the exception of Mario, Charles has done work for the video game Cel Damage as the voice of Fowl Mouth.

Martinet has also done primary voice work on various educational video game series such as Leap Frog (in the US).

During E3 2006, Martinet appeared on a person-sized LCD screen doing the voice of Mario; this can be seen in GameSpot’s coverage of the Wii at E3 2006.

On August 18, 2006, Martinet appeared as a celebrity guest at Nintendo Power’s annual event, Camp Hyrule. On September 15, 2006, Martinet made a public appearance at the Game Store in Oxford Street, London.

On March 9, 2007, Martinet appeared as a guest at the Video Games Live Concert in San Francisco, California, USA (alongside Kōji Kondō and Shigeru Miyamoto ), entering the stage using his trademark Mario and Luigi voice.

On November 1, 8, and 15, 2008, Martinet was present at the Nintendo Tour of Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Mexico City, in that order respectively. He did autograph signings, interviews, and was present during cosplay contests, as well as tournament prize ceremonies for said events.

On May 18, 2010, Martinet participated in the official presentation of Super Mario Galaxy 2, which was held at the Sala Teatro Cuarta Pared in Madrid. In it he talked about some aspects of his life, how he became Mario’s voice actor and his youth spent in Spain.

On November 11, 2011, he appeared in Chile for the launch of Super Mario 3D Land, signing autographs for fans and explaining his experience in Chile after having arrived 4 days ago. The next day, he left for Brazil with the same pitch from the same game.

On August 19, 2012, he participated in the launch of New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS in Bogotá, Colombia, he signed autographs, took pictures with the public and gave some interviews.

In 2015, Charles Martinet provided the voice for the characters in the live presentation of Super Mario Maker.

In December 2018, Charles Martinet was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the person who has voiced the same character the most times in a video game (Mario from the Mario franchise).

Is Charles Martinet still voicing Mario?

After over 30 years of voicing Mario, Charles Martinet finally stepped down from the role. Nintendo made the announcement via its Twitter account on August 21, 2023. However, Charles Martinet is still a part of the Nintendo family as a “Mario Ambassador”. In the recently released Super Mario Bros. movie, Mario was voiced by popular actor Chris Pratt. A lot of fans found that casting decision to be quite strange.

Where is Charles Martinet now?

Charles Martinet currently stays with his partner in The Netherlands.

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