For nearly 30 years, “The Simpsons” has been coming into our homes and showing us one of the most dysfunctional — yet oddly supportive — families that’s ever been on television. You’ve likely seen the show’s massive cast of yellow characters plenty of times, but would you recognize the people behind their voices?
Take a look at 20 of the actors who bring the beloved Springfield citizens to life in “The Simpsons.”
1. Dan Castellaneta
Characters: Homer Simpson, Grandpa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Barney Gumble, Mayor Quimby, Groundskeeper Willie, others
Castellaneta has been part of the show’s cast since it started in 1989 and gives some of the most popular characters their voices. He’s won four Emmy Awards for his work on the series. He’s done voice work for dozens of others animated projects, including Nickelodeon’s “Hey Arnold,” on which he voices Arnold’s grandpa.
2. Julie Kavner
Characters: Marge Simpson, Patty & Selma Bouvier, others
On “The Simpsons,” she’s voiced Marge and her sisters since the start of the series, and fans of classic sitcoms might remember Kavner as Brenda from “Rhoda.” She’s won Emmy Awards for her work on both series and has also been a frequent performer in Woody Allen’s movies. She hasn’t done much voice work outside of “The Simpsons.”
3. Nancy Cartwright
Characters: Bart Simpson, Maggie Simpson, Ralph Wiggum, Nelson Muntz, Rod & Todd Flanders, others
Cartwright has been the voice of Bart Simpson and other characters since the show’s debut in 1989. You might have also heard her work in “Kim Possible,” where she voiced Rufus, or in “Rugrats,” where she voiced Chuckie Finster from 2002 to 2004.
4. Yeardley Smith
Character: Lisa Simpson
Another member of the original cast, Smith has won an Emmy Award for her work as the Simpson family’s brightest member. She has done a lot of traditional and voice acting aside from “The Simpsons,” including recurring roles in “Dharma & Greg” and “The Mindy Project.”
5. Hank Azaria
Characters: Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Comic Book Guy, Carl Carlson, others
Perhaps the most versatile actor in “The Simpsons” cast, Azaria has voiced dozens of characters in the show’s supporting cast since 1989. In recent years, he’s drawn criticism for his role as Apu, and he has said he’d give up that character if asked. Azaria also does a lot of live-action work, including recurring roles on “Friends” and “Mad About You,” as well as a starring role in the IFC series “Brockmire.”
6. Harry Shearer
Characters: Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, others
Thanks to his starring role in “This Is Spinal Tap” and time as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” Shearer was arguably the most well-known member of the cast when “The Simpsons” premiered. Due to his roles as Mr. Burns and Smithers, as well as Ned Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy, there are many scenes of dialogue where Shearer essentially talks to himself.
7. Pamela Hayden
Characters: Milhouse Van Houten, Jimbo Jones, others
The show obviously likes casting women as its school-age male characters. Since the beginning of the show’s run, Hayden has given the voices of Bart’s best friend, Milhouse, and teen bully Jimbo Jones. She’s also had recurring voice roles in “Recess” and “Hey Arnold!”
8. Tress MacNeille
Characters: Agnes Skinner, Brandine Spuckler, Crazy Cat Lady, others
One of the most respected voice actors in the business, MacNeille has been part of the supporting cast of “The Simpsons” since its first season, with her main role being Principal Skinner’s mother. She also provided the voice of Dot from “Animaniacs” and has been Disney’s Daisy Duck since 1999. She’s done dozens of voices in “The Simpsons” and several characters in “Futurama.”
9. Maggie Roswell
Characters: Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, Luann Van Houten, others
Roswell has been doing voices in “The Simpsons” since the show’s first season but became a member of the regular cast in 1990. Since 2003, she’s recorded most of her work for the show from her home studio in Denver, Colorado. Before getting into voice work, she had appearances in classic shows like “Happy Days,” ‘”Mork & Mindy” and “The Partridge Family.”
10. Russi Taylor
Characters: Martin Prince, Sherri & Terri, others
Arguably the most accomplished voice actor in the entire cast of “The Simpsons,” Taylor has been a part of the show since its first episode, most notably doing the voices of Bart’s classmates Martin, Sherri and Terri. Since 1986, she’s also been the voice of Minnie Mouse, the longest-running actor in that iconic role. Taylor was also the original voice of Strawberry Shortcake and was a major part of the main casts of beloved shows “DuckTales” and “Muppet Babies.”
11. Marcia Wallace
Character: Mrs. Krabappel, others
A comedy veteran before joining “The Simpsons” cast, Wallace was part of the show from its first season until her death in 2013. Her most famous role was as Bart’s teacher Mrs. Krabappel, who was given an emotional sendoff after Wallace’s passing. She also worked frequently on “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show.”
12. Doris Grau
Character: Lunchlady Doris
Grau’s gravelly voice was perfect for the cigarette-smoking school lunchlady, Doris. She voiced the character from 1991 until her death in 1995. Aside from being a sometime voice actor, she worked as a script supervisor for several movies and TV shows, and appeared in the flesh in projects including “Babe” and “The Tracey Ullman Show,” which was the forerunner of “The Simpsons.”
13. Joe Mantegna
Character: Fat Tony
A powerhouse dramatic actor on stage and screen, Mantegna has provided the voice of Springfield mob boss Fat Tony in 25 episodes since 1991. Aside from “The Simpsons,” he’s known for work in movies including “The Godfather Part III” and “Thinner,” as well as the TV series “Joan of Arcadia.”
14. Kelsey Grammer
Character: Sideshow Bob
A five-time Emmy Award winner, Grammer is best known for his work as Dr. Frasier Crane in “Cheers” and “Frasier.” He was one of the first regular guest voice actors in “The Simpsons,” voicing Bart’s nemesis Sideshow Bob since the show’s first season. He’s voiced the hard-luck character 21 times since 1990.
15. Glenn Close
Character: Mona Simpson
Perhaps the most respected actor to be a regular guest on “The Simpsons,” Close has won three Emmys, three Tonys and has been nominated for six Oscars in her stellar career. She first voiced Homer’s mother, Mona Simpson, in 1995 and has returned to do the role four more times since then.
16. Phil Hartman
Characters: Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz
Another actor whose death meant the end of popular characters on “The Simpsons,” Hartman was one of the show’s most frequent guest actors, voicing popular characters like actor Troy McClure and attorney Lionel Hutz from 1991 until his murder in 1998. Hartman was also a longtime cast member of “Saturday Night Live” and star of NBC’s “NewsRadio.”
17. Jackie Mason
Character: Rabbi Krustofski
Stand-up comedy legend Jackie Mason has been the voice of Krusty the Clown’s rabbi father since the show’s third season, in 1991. He’s voiced Rabbi Krustofski eight times so far. Mason has won an Emmy Award for his work on “The Simpsons,” and two others for his stand-up specials.
18. Jon Lovitz
Characters: Artie Ziff, Jay Sherman
Another “SNL” cast member with a long history of working on “The Simpsons,” Jon Lovitz has been a frequent guest star since the show’s second season. His most classic character is as Marge’s ex-flame Artie Ziff, who first appeared in the groundbreaking episode “The Way We Was.” Lovitz has also voiced other characters on the show, including Jay Sherman, his character from Fox’s “The Critic,” who appeared in a 1995 cross-over episode.
19. Jane Kaczmarek
Character: Judge Constance Harm
Best known for her starring role in “Malcolm in the Middle,” Kaczmarek has also been a frequent guest actor in “The Simpsons” since 2001. In eight episodes so far, she’s voiced Constance Harm, a judge who loves handing out ruthless punishments to those in her court.
20. Ron Taylor
Character: Bleeding Gums Murphy
Another cast member of “The Simpsons” who passed away too soon, Ron Taylor held the distinction of being the first guest star to ever appear on the show. He voiced Lisa’s musical idol Bleeding Gums Murphy a handful of times, beginning with the sixth episode of the series. Taylor also appeared in classic shows like “Twin Peaks” and “NYPD Blue.” He died in 2002 at the age of 49.