Iconic Mario Voice Charles Martinet Retires from Video Game Performances

Charles Martinet, the legendary voice behind the beloved video game character Mario, has announced his retirement from recording character voices for Nintendo’s iconic franchise. Having portrayed Mario’s enthusiastic Italian intonation since 1996, Martinet is stepping into a new role as a “Mario Ambassador” for the gaming company.

Martinet’s career at Nintendo began in 1991, and his remarkable journey as Mario’s voice actor culminated with his memorable performance in 1996’s groundbreaking title, “Super Mario 64,” where players were introduced to Mario’s iconic phrases and enthusiasm in a 3D platforming adventure.

Across more than 150 Nintendo games, Martinet lent his voice to not only Mario but also other notable characters like Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi. His distinctive portrayal of Mario’s catchphrases, including “Mamma mia,” “Wahoo!” and “Let’s-a go!” became synonymous with the character. His influence extended to various Nintendo hits such as “Mario Kart,” “Super Mario Galaxy,” and “Mario Party.”

Martinet’s legacy even extended to the big screen, with a cameo appearance in this year’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” where Chris Pratt took over the mantle of voicing Mario.

In response to Martinet’s transition, Nintendo of America shared in a statement on Twitter: “Charles Martinet 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!”

Martinet shared Nintendo’s statement on his own Twitter account, expressing his excitement: “My new Adventure begins! You are all Numba One in my heart!”

As Charles Martinet embarks on this new journey, his impact on shaping the voice and personality of one of gaming’s most iconic characters will continue to be celebrated by fans worldwide.


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