Charles Martinet is the prominent voice actor of the Mario games, which he took over in 1994. He voices several major characters, including Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Wario, Metal Mario, Toadsworth, and many other characters. Martinet portrayed the male bosses in Super Mario Advance as well. Martinet plays the vast majority of the male characters in the Mario series. The Internet Movie Database attributes over 150 works to Martinet in total. Martinet speaks fluent French, English and Spanish, but, ironically, only a little Italian. His first voice over work at Nintendo was voicing the announcers, boxers and the referee in Super Punch-Out!! for the SNES.
Martinet originally was not invited to audition for the role of Mario. He crashed the auditions, and was asked to do an Italian accent. His recordings left so much of an impression that they were the only one sent to Nintendo. A former Shakespearean actor, Martinet has stated that Mario’s voice was based on his voice for Gremio, a character from The Taming of the Shrew.
Martinet provided voiceover acting for the boxers and the announcer in the Super NES title Super Punch-Out!!. He voiced the character Vigoro in Sega’s Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube role-playing video game Skies of Arcadia. He did the voice of Homunculus in the Konami PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Windows game Shadow of Destiny, and provided voices for Reader Rabbit and The ClueFinders games.
In addition to video game voice overs, Martinet has worked as a voice actor in commercials, cartoons, and promotions. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show in 2005, Charles (as an Animal Crossing character) could be found roaming the virtual village featured in the playable demo of Animal Crossing: Wild World. Martinet did Mario’s voice as the announcer for Pac-Man Vs.on the Nintendo GameCube.
Other than the Mario series, Charles has also done work for the video game Cel Damage as the voice of Fowl Mouth, as well as the primary voice work in several educational game series, such as LeapFrog. He also voiced the dragon Paarthurnax in the 2011 video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Orvus in 2009’s Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, and narrated the cut scenes and menus for the 2013 video game Bit.Trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien.