Phil LaMarr has voiced some of the most recognizable animated characters in recent years, so get to learn the man behind these voices. As a voice-over artist, LaMarr has lent his vocal talents to over 300 characters. But how did he break into the industry and which ones are his most recognizable roles? Here's how Phil LaMarr became one of the greatest voice actors ever.
After graduating from Yale University and studying improv at The Second City and ImprovOlympic, LaMarr got his first voice role on the Mister T cartoon. He went on to appear in a few small roles in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Pulp Fiction, before joining the cast of Mad TV in 1995. As part of the ensemble, he played several recurring characters and even showed off his abilities with impressions prior to leaving the series in 2000.
LaMarr voiced multiple roles in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command in the show's first season, leading to roles in Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Clerks TV series, The Legend of Tarzan, and multiple characters on Invader ZIM. His first major role came with The Weekenders, where he voiced several roles over four seasons. During this same stretch - from 2000 to 2004 - LaMarr also voiced the titular Static in Static Shock. But it was another role in Static Shock that became one of LaMarr's most recognizable roles: John Stewart aka Green Lantern.
After voicing Green Lantern in Static Shock, LaMarr soon became the voice of the character thanks to the Justice League animated series. He continued being the voice of John Stewart in the follow-up series Justice League Unlimited and in both of the recent Injustice video games. It was around the same time when LaMarr also became the voice of Samurai Jack. He recently had the chance to return to the role after a belated fifth season arrived in 2017. He also voiced several characters on The Proud Family, played Bolbi Stroganofsky on The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and the Earth King on Avatar: The Last Airbender.
More recently, LaMarr has become known for voicing Rand and Robbie Robertson in The Spectacular Spider-Man, Jazz and Jetstorm in Transformers: Animated, and a few characters on King of the Hill and Phineas and Ferb. He went on to also voice JARVIS and Wonder Man in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. One of his longest-running roles was as Hermes Conrad on Futurama, which provided him work from 1999 to 2013. Then he joined the Star Wars franchise as Bail Organa in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. LaMarr also provides the voice for Cloak in Ultimate Spider-Man and Stockman-Fly in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and he continues to voice many roles on Family Guy and Young Justice.
With roles in Marvel, DC, and Star Wars content, LaMarr is likely to be a familiar voice to entire generations. Most may not recognize his name still, but hopefully more will now. And, with LaMarr still incredibly active as a voice actor, who knows what other characters he will bring to life in the future.