Charles Martinet, Mario’s long-time voice actor, has officially stepped away after 27 years.
Key details: Nintendo broke the news in on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday, announcing that Martinet, 67, is retiring from his voice-acting role as Mario and will serve as Nintendo’s Mario Ambassador moving forward. In the new role, Martinet will travel the world to share “the joy of Mario” and interact with fans.
Martinet thanked fans for their support over the decades in his own tweet, saying, “You are all Numba One in my heart!” He and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto will be making a special video message which they “will post at a future date,” according to Nintendo’s recent press release.
About the voice actor: Martinet reportedly first voiced Mario in “Super Mario 64” for the Nintendo 64 in 1996. He also voiced Luigi, Wario and Bowser in “Super Mario 64,” as credited on his IMDB page. Martinet has been the renowned plumber’s voice in English ever since, except for in the recent film “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” in which he had cameo roles as Giuseppe and Papa Mario.
Predating “Super Mario 64”: Martinet’s IMDB page indicates that he also voiced Mario in the 1991 game “Mario Teaches Typing,” but Destructoid noted in a 2013 report that the original 1991 DOS version used a different voice actor, with Martinet replacing the DOS voice in the 1995 CD-ROM re-release.
How fans reacted: Many fans thanked Martinet for lending his voice to the beloved franchise lead, with one X user writing, “Thank you Charles for enriching my childhood and helping me make friends through the titular plumber.”
“You will forever be Mario to me, @CharlesMartinet. Once in a lifetime. Truly thank you for everything,” another fan wrote.
“I’m actually crying but I understand, thank you Charles Martinet for all the good memories you’ve done. We’ll miss ya SO MUCH,” one fan said.