AKA Julie Deborah Kavner
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Marge on The Simpsons
Julie Kavner is not as famous as her voice, which is recognized around the world as Marge Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, the longest-running cartoon in TV history. She also voices Marge's chain-smoking sisters Patty and Selma, and their disapproving mother, Jaqueline Bouvier.
Kavner was raised in California, but both her parents were from New York, giving her a naturally neurotic, Brooklynesque voice. She auditioned for a guest role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and although she was not right for that part, they wrote a role for Kavner when Valerie Harper was spun off to Rhoda in 1974. Kavner played Rhoda's pretty but insecure sister, and won her first Emmy in the role, in 1978. She later had a featured part in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters, and played Allen's mother in Radio Days.
In the ensemble cast of The Tracey Ullman Show, Kavner first voiced Marge Simpson in short animated segments, while performing in-the-flesh in other roles. She also voiced Marge in two Fox theatrical cartoons before The Simpsons became a TV series in 1989.
To perform Marge, she raises her voice an octave or so, and "roughens it up a bit." To do the sisters, she lowers her voice an octave, and roughens it up a lot. She says voicing The Simpsons takes about two half-days a week, about six to seven hours of recording to voice an episode. Kavner won a second Emmy for her Simpsons work.
In 1998, after a threatened walkout, the principal Simpsons actors were given a raise from $30,000 to $125,000 per episode. In 2004, they refused to speak their lines until FOX agreed to pay $250,000 per episode. By comparison, the principal actors in Friends were paid $1 million per episode by the end of that series' run.
Kavner has been reticent to do many Simpsons-related interviews. When the cast of The Simpsons appeared in a 2003 episode of Inside the Actors Studio, her castmates began speaking in character, but Kavner took a bathroom break halfway through the show and did not return. "If I want to remain anonymous", she says, "I have to keep my mouth shut."
Sitcom producer David Davis was there when Kavner auditioned for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and he has been there ever since. Kavner and Davis have lived together for so long, friends (and the law) consider them married.
Father: Dave Kavner (furniture manufacturer)
Mother: Rose Kavner (family counselor)
Husband: David Davis (created The Bob Newhart Show, together since 1970s)
High School: Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills, CA
University: San Diego State University (1971)
The Simpsons Marge Simpson
Rhoda Brenda Morgenstern
The Tracey Ullman Show
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Bettie Page Reveals All (8-Sep-2012)
Woody Allen: A Documentary (30-May-2012) · Herself
The Simpsons Movie (21-Jul-2007) [VOICE]
Click (23-Jun-2006) · Trudy
The Lion King 1½ (10-Feb-2004) [VOICE]
Someone Like You... (30-Mar-2001) · Furry Animal [VOICE]
Judy Berlin (10-Sep-1999)
A Walk on the Moon (29-Jan-1999) · P.A. Announcer [VOICE]
Doctor Dolittle (13-Jun-1998) · Female Pigeon [VOICE]
Deconstructing Harry (26-Aug-1997)
Forget Paris (19-May-1995) · Lucy
Don't Drink the Water (18-Dec-1994)
I'll Do Anything (4-Feb-1994) · Nan Mulhanney
Shadows and Fog (30-Mar-1992) · Alma
This Is My Life (21-Feb-1992) · Dottie Ingles
Alice (25-Dec-1990) · Decorator
Awakenings (20-Dec-1990) · Eleanor Costello
New York Stories (1-Mar-1989)
Radio Days (30-Jan-1987) · Mother
Hannah and Her Sisters (7-Feb-1986) · Gail
Bad Medicine (22-Nov-1985)
National Lampoon's Movie Madness (23-Apr-1982) · Mrs. Falcone
Revenge of the Stepford Wives (12-Oct-1980)
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