Million Dollar Voices: The Faces Behind Your Favorite Cartoon Characters
When it comes to our favorite cartoons, we know them by the sounds of their voices just as well as we know our favorite characters by their appearances. Cartoons have been around for centuries, and they’re not just for the kids, either. Adult animation like Family Guy and American Dad provide entertainment for adults, as well.
These movies and cartoons all feature some famous voices that you can easily pick out of a crowd. You might be surprised at how high the net worth of these voice actors is, as royalty checks keep on rolling in from their voice-overs.
Show/Movie: The Lion King
Est. Net Worth: $45 million*
James Earl Jones may not be a household name, but don’t let that fool you. He’s a Hollywood legend. The Mississippi born actor has won three Emmy Awards and has voiced Darth Vader. He’s also the talent that brought wise and kindly King Mufasa to life in 1994’s The Lion King.
Jones is widely regarded as one of the top actors in his field, whether he’s working on a commercial or a cartoon feature. His tireless efforts over the years have amassed him quite a fortune, too. He’s worth an awesome (or should we say roarsome) estimated $45 million.
Show/Movie: Family Guy
Character(s): Brian Griffin
Est. Net Worth: $150 million*
Seth MacFarlane isn’t just the voice of Brian Griffin in Family Guy, but the creator of the entire show. The hit cartoon is geared more at adults than children as it’s full of risque references and questionable characters. Its close-to-the-knuckle approach is what makes it so vastly popular.
The 46-year-old mastermind has plenty of feathers in his cap. He co-created other successful series such as American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, and wrote and directed in Ted, Ted 2, and A Million Ways to Die in the West. He’s a busy bee, but has been paid handsomely for his efforts to the sum of $150 million.
Character(s): Philip J. Fry
Est. Net Worth: $35 million*
When Futurama landed in 1999, it was straight from the mind of The Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Audiences had high hopes, and they weren’t disappointed. The series focused on central character Philip J. Fry, an oddball slacker that accidentally freezes himself only to defrost 100 years later.
The voice behind Fry is Billy West, a highly-respected voice actor that has some impressive credentials. West was Doug Funnie from Doug, the titular characters from The Ren & Stimpy Show, and also voiced Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, and several other Futurama characters besides Fry. Is it any wonder that he’s worth $35 million?
When you think of King of the Hill, you probably picture a white t-shirt wearing Hank sipping a beer with his buddies in the yard. The famous face behind Hank’s famous Texan drawl is Michael Craig Judge. Fewer actors are more qualified in the animation business than Judge, who created Beavis and Butt-Head, one of America’s most iconic cartoons.
Judge is also the brainbox behind the hit series Silicon Valley, which came to an end in December 2019. Clearly, this is one gentleman with the magic touch who knows how to work a TV show. Thanks to all his creative endeavors, Judge can rest easy knowing there’s $75 million tucked away for a rainy day.
Show/Movie: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
Est. Net Worth: $15 million*
73-year-old Frank Welker had the honor of voicing one of history’s most recognizable cartoon characters: Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo. He was onboard from the very beginning, going on to reprise his role when the show was rebooted. Welker was also Megatron and Soundwave in the Transformers movie series, as well as Nibbler on Futurama. What a resume!
Interestingly, one of Welker’s first live-action roles was opposite Elvis Presley in 1969’s The Trouble with Girls. This is one entertainer that likes to be kept busy, with an almost non-stop ream of projects to his name. Compared to some of his contemporaries, Welker is worth a relatively modest $15 million.
Show/Movie: Mickey Mouse
Character(s): Mickey Mouse (Original voice)
Est. Net Worth: $1B*
Walt Disney wasn’t just a visionary or a name behind one of the most successful studios in the world. He was also a voice actor, providing Mickey Mouse with his first-ever set of pipes. In the early 1920s, Disney Brothers Studio was just getting started with their first animated feature.
As we well know, the company grew and grew to become an international powerhouse. At the time of Walt’s passing in 1966, he was worth an estimated $1 billion dollars in today’s money. Now, the studio itself has a net value of $263 billion.
Show/Movie: The Flintstones
Character(s): Fred Flintstone
Est. Net Worth: $10 million*
Yabba dabba do, it’s Bedrock’s finest, the one and only Alan Reed, aka Fred Flintstone. The Flintstones is more than just a cartoon, but a pop culture icon. The series ran for 166 episodes and has the distinction of being the first animated series to hold a primetime slot.
Alan Reed voiced Fred from the show’s inception up until his death from an emphysema-induced heart attack in 1977. By that point in his life, Reed had done enough work to secure a $10 million fortune for his family. Fred has since been played by John Goodman in the live-action movie features.
Show/Movie: Tom & Jerry
Character(s): Tom Cat
Est. Net Worth: $300 million*
William Hanna was the voice of everyone’s favorite tearaway mouse hunter, Tom from Tom and Jerry. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. New Mexico born Hanna formed a friendship with Joseph Barbera while working on the show, going on to found Hanna-Barbera. The company became more successful than they could have ever anticipated.
The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear, and The Smurfs all hail from this once tiny venture. The friends sold the company in 1967 for a then astronomical $12 million. Hanna and Barbera stayed on as company heads until 1991. At the time of Hanna’s passing in 2001 age 90, he was worth a reported $300 million.