"Mama Mia!" Mario's Video Game Voice Actor Is Retiring After 27 Years

You may not know Charles Martinet’s name, but you definitely know his voice: he’s been the video game voice actor for Mario since Super Mario 64. His yelps, exclamations and proclamations helped Mario win the hearts and minds of millions of gamers, and now he’s set to step out of the recording booth after 27 years. Nintendo announced in a recent tweet (or post, if you’d prefer, now that it’s “X” and not Twitter) that Martinet will be “stepping back from recording character voices for our games” and “moving into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador.” You can see the company’s full statement below.

Charles Martinent has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64. Charles is now moving into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador. With this transition, he will be stepping back from recording character voices for our games, but he’ll continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all!

It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years, and we want to thank and celebrate him. Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a future date.

Martinet, who has also voiced Luigi, Wario and Waluigi, has long been a spokesperson for the greater Mario franchise, and was recently touring to support the The Super Mario Bros. Movie movie. In an emailed statement, Nintendo told io9 that Martinet would not be involved in the forthcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder but that they’re “excited to honor his legacy and contributions” and that his voice would be present in the forthcoming HD remaster of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon on the Switch.

As far as who’s next? That’s still up in the air, as Nintendo said it had “nothing to announce” regarding Mario’s next voice actor.

In other Nintendo news, the successor to the Switch may release in 2024.
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