Plenty of actors have lent their voices to prime time animated series like The Simpsons or movies like The Croods and Toy Story. But it’s hard to imagine Saturday Morning Cartoons with huge stars. A lot of people are shocked to find out that the original voice of Shredder on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star James Avery, or to recall which Star Wars veteran was behind The Joker. Perhaps you weren't aware of the big names behind some of these childhood favorites...
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
A group of teenagers use magic rings to harness the elements and to summon Captain Planet, an environmental superhero. Each episode, they battle villains trying to pollute the environment. Whoopi Goldberg voices Gaia, the spirit of the Earth and their boss. What a lot of children at the time didn’t realize is the show’s villains are all played by major celebrities. Meg Ryan is Dr. Blight, a disfigured doctor who works with a sarcastic British computer. Jeff Goldblum plays Verminous Skumm, a mutated rat creature with a fondness for toxic waste. Sting even appears on the show as the creatively named Zarm. Other villains are played by Hollywood veterans Martin Sheen, James Coburn, Malcolm McDowell, and Ed Asner. Major celebs also stop by for guest appearances including Danny Glover, Louis Gossett Jr., and even Elizabeth Taylor.
This Disney cartoon creates a mythology where stone gargoyles come to life when the sun sets. It also has a bizarre Star Trek connection. Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis play series villains David Xanatos and Demona. There are also performance by other The Next Generation stars Michael Dorn, Brett Spiner, LeVar Burton, and Colm Meany. The captains of Deep Space Nine, Avery Brooks, and Voyager, Kate Mulgrew, appear on the cartoon. Nichelle Nichols even makes an appearance.
Batman: The Animated Series
Batman is probably the most star-studded cartoon in television history. The series features appearances by stars from the 1970s to today. 1970s icons like Adrienne Barbeau, Michael York, and Marilu Henner pop by the series. Bewitched actress Elizabeth McGovern plays her last role ever on the cartoon. Mark Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker, finds a career resurgence playing The Joker. Night Court’s Richard Moll, The Beastmaster Marc Singer, and Melissa Gilbert all bring 1980s nostalgia playing major characters. Bruce Wayne’s various love interests include Heather Locklear, comedian Julie Brown, and Supergirl Helen Slater. There are also appearances by future celebrities like Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss and Megan Mullally.
Similarly, this Man of Steel cartoon has a ton of television actors lending their voices. Superman is voiced by Wings star Tim Daly and Lois Lane is Desperate Housewives star Dana Delany. Sitcom stars Peri Gilpin, Brad Garett, and Joely Fisher all appear on the show.
Pilots and guest stars and bears, oh my! Well, not really with the bears, but I head out to Chicago for four days and Dr. George O'Malley and Jane Fonda are back on TV? I'm never going on vacation again! Check out all the scoopage below:
Mark-Paul Gosselaar Gets Happy: Oh, now THIS is a match made in TV heaven. Mr. Zack Morris himself, known in the "real world" as Mark-Paul Gosselaar, will head to Happy Endings for the third season's tenth episode, where he'll be playing Max's mysterious new roommate, Chase. We're thinking this bodes well for Alex and Dave round 2, no? [EW]
The Good Wife Lands a Grey's Vet: Dr. George O’Malley will rise from the dead! Well, not really, but actor T.R. Knight of Grey's Anatomy fame will guest-star on The Good Wife this season, playing a political operative. No word yet on Izzie. [EW]
William Hurt Signs on to a Real Challenge: Hollywood legend William Hurt has officially signed on to play physicist Richard Feynman, one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, for an upcoming BBC/Science Channel drama about the commission that investigated the Challenger disaster. Feynman figured out that the disaster was caused by the shuttle's primary O-ring not sealing properly. We have no clue what that means, but are sure the movie will be great. [Vulture]
Jake Johnson Joins The B Team: Thought you were done with single-camera comedy pilot news? Think again! But we're happy about this one, since it involves The New Girl's Nick, AKA Jake Johnson. Johnson and Max Winkler will write and produce The B Team for Fox, a show about five underdogs who form a real-world version of The Avengers, with absolutely no superpowers whatsoever. Fox may be sold on the pilot, but we think we're already sold on the show. Schmidt cameo, please? [Deadline]
Jennifer Garner to Produce NBC Comedy: Thought you were done with celebrities producing pilots news? Think again! But this could be cool, since it involves Jennifer Garner taking on a project from funny lady writer Ellen Rapoport. Garner's Vandalia Films will produce Rapoport's so-far untitled semi-autobiographical comedy, which focuses on a nerdy twentysomething named Allie. Allie will befriend a couple of promiscuous party girls, and everyone will do funny things and, along the way, learn some valuable lessons. Yep, sounds like our 20's! [Deadline]
Hangover Writers Will Now Cause TV Hangovers: Sold! The Hangover scribes Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have a put pilot commitment with ABC for Mixology, a comedy that will mark the duo's first foray into television. Of course, since it's the Hangover guys, the show will focus on five guys and five girls trying to find love in a hopeless place... a trendy Manhattan bar. Sounds like a headache. Lucas and Moore will also executive produce. [Deadline]
Watch Your Back, Nolan: Looks like Revenge-a-holic Emily Thorne will have some more permanent help this season: Barry Sloane, who plays Emily's mysterious old Revenge-mate Aiden Mathis, has been promoted to series regular. He'll receive perma-billing in the back nine, and he has an option to continue as a regular next year if the show gets a Season 3. Yeah. If. [Deadline]
Jane Fonda Left The Newsroom... So, Now What?: She's baaack! Jane Fonda, who recently impressed with her guest turn on HBO's The Newsroom, has landed a starring role in an ABC comedy currently titled, Now What? The single-camera comedy will focus on a mother-daughter duo who move in together after the daughter writes a blog post entitled, "Dear Mom, Here's Why I Hate You..." Yikes! [Variety]
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[PHOTO CREDIT: DailyCeleb.com]
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