Oct. 29th, 1957
Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Dan Castellaneta's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - Superhero Movie
2007 - The Simpsons Movie
2006 - The Pursuit of Happyness
2006 - I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
2006 - I-See-You.Com
2003 - The Cat in the Hat
2002 - Return to Never Land
2002 - Hey Arnold! The Movie
2001 - Recess: School's Out
2000 - Rugrats in Paris: The Movie - Rugrats II
1998 - My Giant
1996 - Space Jam
1996 - All Dogs Go to Heaven 2
1995 - Forget Paris
1994 - Love Affair
1994 - The Client
1993 - Super Mario Bros.
1991 - Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
1989 - K-9
1989 - Say Anything...
1989 - The War of the Roses
1986 - Nothing in Common
Guest TV Roles
Mr. Thickley (Voiced)
Casey Kasemish DJ (Voiced)
The Robot Devil (Voiced)
Kobra Commando (Voiced)
Arnold Wesker (Voiced)
The Grinch (Voiced)
Dan Castellaneta is an American film, theatre and television actor, comedian, voice artist, singer and television writer. Noted for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons.
Castellaneta was born in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, on October 29, 1957, to Elsie and Louis Castellaneta. His father was an amateur actor who worked for a printing company. Castellaneta became adept at impressions at a young age and his mother enrolled him in an acting class when he was sixteen years old. He would listen to his father's comedy records and do impressions of the artists. He was a "devotee" of the works of many performers, including 'Alan Arkin' and 'Barbara Harris' and directors 'Mike Nichols' and 'Elaine May'. He attended Oak Park and River Forest High School and upon graduation, started attending Northern Illinois University (NIU) in the fall of 1975. He studied art education, with the goal of becoming an art teacher.
He became a student teacher and would entertain his students with his impressions. Castellaneta was also a regular participant in The Ron Petke and His Dead Uncle Show, a radio show at NIU. The show assisted Castellaneta hone his skills as a voice-over actor. He recalled "We did parodies and sketches, we would double up on, so you learned to switch between voices. I got my feet wet doing voiceover. The show was just barely audible, but we didn't care. It was the fact that we got a chance to do it and write our own material." He took a play-writing class and auditioned for an improvisational show. A classmate first thought Castellaneta would "fall on his face with improvisation" but soon "was churning out material faster than they could make it work."
Castellaneta started taking acting classes at a young age. He would listen to his father's comedy records and do impressions of the artists. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Castellaneta joined Chicago's Second City in 1983, and performed with the troupe until 1987. He was cast in The Tracey Ullman Show, which debuted in 1987. The Tracey Ullman Show included a series of animated shorts about a dysfunctional family. Voices were needed for the shorts, so the producers decided to ask Castellaneta to voice Homer. His voice for the character started out as a loose impression of Walter Matthau, but later evolved into a more robust voice. The shorts would eventually be spun off into The Simpsons. Castellaneta has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work on the show as well as an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in the Field of Animation in 1993. Castellaneta has co-written four episodes of The Simpsons with his wife 'Deb Lacusta'.
Castellaneta has also had roles in several other television programs, including the live-action sitcom Sibs, The Adventures of Dynamo Duck, and the animated series Back to the Future: The Animated Series, Earthworm Jim, Aladdin, Hey Arnold!, and Darkwing Duck. In 1999, he appeared in the Christmas special Olive, the Other Reindeer and won an Annie Award for his portrayal of the Postman. Castellaneta has also released a comedy CD, I Am Not Homer, and wrote and starred in a one-person show titled Where Did Vincent van Gogh?
- Played 'Danny DeVito' (qv)'s client in _The War of the Roses (1989)_ (qv), and his brother on The Simpsons.
- Practices tai-chi.
- Explained in 2005 on Bravo channel, that his Homer Simpson voice was also partly based on his father's as well as the late Walter Matthau.
- Good friends with 'Tracey Ullman' (qv). They did a lot of comedy work together, and it was Ullman that got Dan his most famous role as Homer Simpson.
- Once asked in an interview what "D'oh!" means. He replied that he thought "D'oh!", the trademark line of his "Simpsons" character Homer, was a euphamism for "damn".
- The phrase "d'oh" appears only as "Annoyed Grunt" in Simpsons scripts.
- Doesn't drink.
- With all of the Voice over work he is done it is ironic that he appears as a semi-major character in "War of the Roses" and never uses his voice at all.