After decades of being the iconic voice behind the video game character Mario, Charles Martinet is taking a step back from recording character voices for Nintendo as he transitions into a new role.
Now designated as a “Mario Ambassador,” Martinet will embark on a global journey to engage with fans on behalf of the gaming company.
Martinet’s journey with Nintendo began in 1991, and his first prominent portrayal of the mustachioed plumber occurred in the 1996 game “Super Mario 64,” a groundbreaking 3D platformer that introduced the world to Mario’s enthusiastic Italian accent.
His contributions include voicing not only Mario but also a range of other beloved Mushroom Kingdom characters, including Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi, across more than 150 Nintendo games. Martinet’s spirited delivery of Mario’s memorable catchphrases like “Mamma mia,” “Wahoo!” and “Let’s-a go!” has left an indelible mark on major Nintendo franchises such as Mario Kart, Super Mario Galaxy, and Mario Party.
Martinet even made a brief appearance in this year’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” with Chris Pratt taking on the role of Mario.
In response to Martinet’s evolving role, Nintendo of America released a statement on Twitter: “Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64. Charles is now moving into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador. With this transition, he will be stepping back from recording character voices for our games, but he’ll continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all! It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him. Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a future date.”
Martinet echoed Nintendo’s sentiment by sharing the statement on his Twitter account, along with his own words: “My new Adventure begins! You are all Numba One in my heart!”