Nancy Cartwright
-The Rise of A Legend



By Bruce Edwin

Nancy Cartwright was once just a talented little girl from Ohio. She performed in many plays which she excelled at, kicked butt on the speech team (humorous interpretation was the category), and ended up at around 20, working on local radio. A couple years later, she transferred to UCLA at around 22, determined to be a star. Taking the bus daily to mentor with the world's most famous voice actor, she got better and better. She did some television, and then met a guy named Matt.

Matt Groening was a dude from Portland, Oregon. He drew cartoons, and wrote for the school newspaper. He moved to Los Angeles at 23, and worked as a busboy and dishwasher. He ended up working at a record store, and at 24, began making a wildly hilarious cartoon that became a cult hit named 'Life in Hell.' It eventually got syndicated around the country, and The Tracey Ullman Show wanted a short animated version of it for TV.

Flash forward: October, 2010, The home of Nancy Cartwright: (Monte Carlo Night- Fundraiser for Youth) Bart Simpson and SpongeBob Squarepants (Nancy Cartwright and emcee for the night - Tom Kenny) sing a hilarious, rocking version of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking," which gets thunderous applause. Later, Nancy Cartwright confessed, "I'm not one to gamble much, but...I love to throw a party!" And my what a party it was. The Mayor of Los Angeles' office took the stage and presented Nancy Cartwright with a humanitarian award for her service to children and to the city. A flag in Washington now flies in her honor.

The Hollywood Sentinel- Bruce Edwin: I'm speaking here today with Emmy Award Winning Actress Nancy Cartwright, and Nancy, where do I begin? You're a legend not only in Hollywood, but around the world. Everybody knows the voice that you do, of course, Bart Simpson. Now one thing that really fascinated me about you when I was doing some research was your mentor that you had. Can you tell me a bit about that? You were about 20 when you got an offer from Warner Brothers through a contact. Can you take me back to that?

Nancy Cartwright: Yeah, I was a little bit younger, I think I was about 18 or so when I was working at a radio station, in my hometown, Kettering, Ohio, just south of Dayton, and my boss who was the President and General Manager of W.I.N.G, you know, winging it in Dayton, five brothers and all that, he knew that I was on scholarship at Ohio University, and he knew that I was majoring in communications, he offered me a part-time job, just for the summer, because it aligned with the area and the field of communications, and I had not really decided that I wanted to be in radio, but it interested me, so I started working for him and I loved doing voices, and had done really well, and thus it had gotten me that scholarship. And he thought, well maybe we could get you on the air and do some commercials, and that's what really intrigued me, and plus really finding out how the whole machine worked. So I ended up learning all kinds of jobs from reception, to accounting which I was horrible at--

Hollywood Sentinel- Bruce Edwin: (laughs)

Nancy Cartwright: It's embarrassing how bad I was!

Hollywood Sentinel- Bruce Edwin: I was too!

Nancy Cartwright: But did other things like P.R. and marketing, and got to do some commercials, and the trafficking department - they call it trafficking where you get to actually place the commercials on the schedule.

Hollywood Sentinel: Oh, cool.

Nancy Cartwright: And that was kind of fun, and then I got on the air, and got to create a little character to work with the jive time disc jockey, and it was really, really fun doing that, it was actually one of the pre- I don't know if you'd call it cousin to Bart or a pre-cursor to Bart, but he definitely preceded Bart Simpson- Barham Helium. He was a bit of a novelty to the station for a short period of time. And this is when Star Wars had just come out, it was that year.

Hollywood Sentinel: Wow, that's incredible. I noticed by the way on your website- and everyone reading this you can check it out on've got an incredible array of samples of some of your voice work, and videos, and when I was listening to some of those, it just blew me away about how many different unique voices you can do. And one thing I noticed too was that some of the characters before Bart were similar, a few of them similar in sound to Bart. When did you kind of just discover, even before this radio station, that you can do this unique talent with your voice?

Nancy Cartwright: I think that just sort of happened around that time, because I was competing, it was like at the high school level, I was like 16 or 17 years old. And I started getting comments from the judges, and when I say competing, I was on the forensics team, and forensics has to do with debate. Because, of television shows you've got 'House,' and you've got these shows on television about medical forensics, so it's the 'between something' physically wrong with the body, and they look in it in terms of 'if a crime has been committed,' so there is a debate there as to what really is the problem.

Hollywood Sentinel: Interesting, right.

Nancy Cartwright: I wasn't really a debater. A lot of the debaters would go on to be attorney's, or politicians or what not, but I was interested in individual events that had to do with after dinner speaking, or prose and poetry reading, humorous interpretation, things like that, and I did really, really well, and the judges actually started making comments to me about, "You've got an unusual voice, you know, you should do cartoons." The first I had ever considered it, and I did quite well in these competitions, I won a lot of first place trophies, and blue ribbons and stuff, and I never had that association or correlation between standing up and telling a children's story and changing my voice to cartoons, how that would be so closely, you know, related. Because this was Dayton, Ohio, it's not the animation capitol of the world you know!

Hollywood Sentinel: (Laughs) right.

Continued on next page.

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