Daniel Louis Castellaneta (born September 10, 1958) is an Emmy award winning American voice actor, actor and comedian best known for providing the voice of Homer Simpson and other characters on the animated series The Simpsons.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Castellaneta was educated at the Oak Park and River Forest High School and Northern Illinois University. He was raised on the south east side of Oak Park in a modest home on Humphrey Avenue. While at Oak Park and River Forest High School, he played on the baseball team. Years later Assistant Coach Dick Trout would recall, "Dan was funny but he threw like a girl." After graduation, he went on to work at Chicago's Second City, which he later recalled on Inside the Actors Studio as "a place that, if you're not funny going in, will train you on how to be funny when going out."
He is married to writer Deb Lacusta. He lives in Los Angeles where he occasionally performs alongside a branch of The Second City.
On The Simpsons, Castellaneta provides the voices for Homer Simpson (he has to tilt his chin into his neck to do Homer's voice correctly ), Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Joe Quimby, Hans Moleman, Sideshow Mel, Itchy, Kodos, Arnie Pie, Scott Christian and other characters. Along with Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer, he is a dominant voice on the series. For his work on the series, he won three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance. He has also written a few episodes with his wife.
He appeared as himself on the Simpsons episodes "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife" ("Why look folks, it's Dan Castellaneta, from The Tracey Ullman Show.") and "I Am Furious Yellow". Even though he is not credited in the latter episode, his distinctive normal speaking voice can be recognized.
He guest starred in an episode of the US legal drama LA Law, in which - employed as a walking, talking Homer Simpson character at a California theme park - he is dismissed for inappropriate (or perhaps all too appropriate) behavior while in costume. (The episode was LA Lawless in 1992.)
As of April 20, 2007, Castellaneta has beaten James Arness and Kelsey Grammer for the longest running portrayal of a fictional character on prime-time American television. He has portrayed Homer Simpson on The Tracey Ullman Show and The Simpsons from 1987 onwards, beating the twenty-year record held by Arness and Grammer.
He also played Grandpa and the mentally unstable ice cream truck driver known as "The Jolly-Olly Man" (among others) on Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold!, Doctor Emmett L. Brown in the animated series Back to the Future, the Things in Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat and Robot Devil in Futurama. In 1999 he played the comedic Nordom the anti-Modron in the computer game Planescape: Torment.
Castellaneta voiced the lead character in the animated series Earthworm Jim and narrated the movie Super Mario Bros. In 2005, he appeared on Arrested Development as a deadpan incompetent doctor who misdiagnosed Jason Bateman's character (and left tools inside him after surgery, causing him to exclaim "D'oh!") and in the movie The War of the Roses he seeks a divorce at the beginning of the movie. He also appeared in episodes of Frasier, Friends, Married... with Children (in the episode where Peg meets a handsome man at a nightclub and Al discovers that the man Peg is seeing is a homosexual when the man's gay lover [Castellaneta] comes over and cooks for him), Yes, Dear, Reba, Everybody Loves Raymond, ALF, That '70s Show,and Stargate SG-1.
On February 22, 2000, his first music CD Two Lips was published. It was followed on April 23, 2002 by his first comedy CD, I Am Not Homer, in which he and his wife perform several comedy skits. (For example, on the first track, "AM Therapy", his wife plays a radio-show psychotherapist and he plays several characters who call in for help.) Both CDs were published by Oglio Records. I Am Not Homer is a parody of Leonard Nimoy's first autobiography, I Am Not Spock. Dan is shown doing the Vulcan Salute on the cover with an image of Homer's face between his fingers.
Castellaneta portrayed Aaron Spelling in the 2004 NBC film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels, which followed the true story of how Spelling created the show.
Castelleneta was also the voice of Megavolt on Darkwing Duck, Genie in the Aladdin sequel Return of Jafar and on the Aladdin TV series and Dr. Zibaldo Talespin episoide "The Incredible Shrinking Molly".
In the early 1980s, Castellaneta briefly appeared as Detective Farblonget, an absent-minded private investigator, on the local Chicago Jewish children's show, Beyond the Magic Door
Castellaneta guest starred as Joe Spencer in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Citizen Joe". This was a humorous indirect connection between The Simpsons and Stargate, as Castellaneta voices Homer and The Simpsons is Jack O'Neill's (Stargate's main character) favorite TV show. Homer is apparently very important to Jack (in "Beneath the Surface" O'Neill's memory is erased but he still remembers a bald man in a short-sleeved shirt, which turns out to be Homer, not Jack's commanding officer). The connection is deepened further by the fact that Castellaneta, along with his wife, wrote the Simpsons episode "Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore", which guest-starred Richard Dean Anderson, the actor who plays O'Neill on SG-1.
Castellaneta cameoed on a third season episode of Veronica Mars as a sociology professor, conducting an experiment on Logan and Wallace. Rider Strong also guest starred.
Castellaneta has a role in the Will Smith drama The Pursuit of Happyness, in which he asks Will Smith for a donut. Castellaneta also voices Batman villain Scarface in the animated series, The Batman.