Michael Bell is an American actor, voice actor and voice director who is most active in voice over roles, known for his youthful voice.
He has acted in video games and animated series, including Transformers, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Rugrats, and The Smurfs, and appeared on-screen in film and television, including the TV programs Dallas and Star Trek. Bell was described as being “one of the most prominent voice actors of the 1980s.”
Bell had an important part in animated entertainment in the 1970s and 1980s. His first voice role was that of Stutz, the leader of The Houndcats. In 1973, he was Mark on the Hanna-Barbera series Speed Buggy. He voiced Redbeard the Pirate’s Ghost in The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode “The Ghostly Creep from the Deep” as the second Redbeard themed monster in Scooby-Doo.
From 1977 to 1984, Michael Bell played two of his best-known roles, Zan and Gleek on various Super Friends incarnations. He would also voice The Riddler on Challenge of the Super Friends. He also provided the voice of Lex Luthor as a young man, in the episode “History of Doom”. It’s interesting to note that Bell later played Luthor in the 1988 Superman series.
He was also Doctor Ben Cooper in Jana of the Jungle and in 1979, he voiced the title character of The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show and later made a guest appearance as Doctor Octopus in another superhero show, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.
Outside of animation, Bell performed on records and commercials, including the Young Man in A&M Records’ Story of Halloween Horror album in 1977, and Parkay Margarine and Mug Root Beer ads.
Bell provided the overdubbing of Peter Criss’ dialogue in the band KISS’s TV movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.
Throughout the 1980s, Michael Bell starred in four hit animated series;
• as Grouchy Smurf, Lazy Smurf, Handy Smurf and Johan the human in The Smurfs
• as Autobot Prowl, Scrapper, Sideswipe, Bombshell, First Aid, Swoop, Gort, Brainstorm and Doctor Fujiyama in Transformers and Transformers: The Movie
• as Duke, Xamot, Blowtorch and numerous others in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and G.I. Joe: The Movie
• as Lance & Sven in Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
He also starred in the 1982 animated series The Incredible Hulk. The Hulk was voiced by Bob Holt, while his human side, Bruce Banner was played by Michael Bell.
During this time, the actor also played Hiro Taka on Spiral Zone and Allstar Seaworthy in The Snorks.
Bell continues to work in animation in the 1990s and into the 21st century in movies and television, with roles such as Quackerjack from Disney’s Darkwing Duck, Aziz in Aladdin, Ixus Naugus on Sonic the Hedgehog, and Ezekiel Rage in The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. He was also featured as Opus in the Bloom County television special A Wish for Wings That Work.
From 1991 to 2004, in the Rugrats and All Grown Up!, he voiced three of the main characters’ parents: Drew Pickles, Charles Finster Sr., and Boris Kropotkin.
Bell did the voices of Drake on W.I.T.C.H.; Max Hauser, Duke’s Dad, on G.I. Joe: Renegades; Willy Wachowski on Handy Manny; and additional roles in Tangled.
He is also a prolific voice in video games, which include Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, Age Of Empires III, Baldur’s Gate, Ratchet & Clank, and the character Raziel in three games in the Legacy of Kain series, among many others.
His live action film career has included roles in films such as Thunder Alley (1967), Blue (1968), Brother John (1971), Rollercoaster (1977), Fast Company (1979), How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980), and C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (1989). He made guest appearances in multiple episodes of the Star Trek series. He also appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation pilot episode, “Encounter at Farpoint”, as Bandi administrator Groppler Zorn, and in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes “The Homecoming” as a Bajoran and in “The Maquis.”
Bell appeared in multiple episodes of Dallas as Les Crowley during the 1980-81 season, in M*A*S*H in the episode “Souvenirs” as Willie Stratton, and also guest starred in two episodes of Three’s Company as Rama Mageesh and Michael, a sleazy dance instructor in the sixth-season episode “Some Of That Jazz” (1981). Bell played Bill Duncan, Sabrina (Kate Jackson)’s ex-husband on Charlie’s Angels, as well as appearing as King Edward Spencer on Jackson’s series Scarecrow and Mrs. King. In 1970, he appeared in an episode of The Silent Force.
In 1983, he and his future wife Victoria Carroll opened The West End Playhouse in Van Nuys. The two of them organized, wrote, directed, and acted in dozens of productions.
Bell was the voice director for Kidd Video, Peter Pan and the Pirates, as well as the web series The LeBrons.