Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing
Mar 27, 2012
From staff reports
Ohio University today announced Nancy Cartwright – famous for voicing television's Bart Simpson – as the 2012 undergraduate commencement speaker. She will address graduates during two ceremonies on June 9.
"Nancy Cartwright is one of the most respected voice actors in the entertainment industry. We are honored to have her share her wisdom and experience with our graduating students. We know her message will be all the more special because she understands the value of what it means to be a Bobcat and the transformational experience offered at Ohio University," said President Roderick J. McDavis.
A native of Kettering, Ohio, Cartwright began her postsecondary education at Ohio University, and continues to support current Ohio University students. In 2005, Cartwright established a scholarship at Fairmont High School for students who want to pursue speech, debate, drama or music at Ohio University.
She is also a past member and lifetime supporter of the Ohio University Debate Team. In 2010, she returned to Athens to deliver the keynote address for the National Forensics Association Tournament held at the university, met with students and was inducted into the Ohio Communication Hall of Fame.
As Nancy puts it, "Ohio University was instrumental in my success as an artist. I was surrounded by young people like myself who loved performing and keeping incredibly active doing what we love to do. I 'lived for' rehearsals and going to competitions. Not only did I get to travel a bit and celebrate with the team when we would bring home trophies, but more importantly, I found lifelong friends whom I continue to work with today.
"Ohio University was my 'playground' in a field that had no training at that time. I discovered my talent by immersing myself in the programs that OU offered and for this I am eternally grateful."
Cartwright began her professional career as the voice of Gloria in the animated series Richie Rich, followed by a starring role in the television movie Marian Rose White and her first feature film, Twilight Zone: The Movie. In 1987, she began voicing Bart Simpson for a short animation series featured on The Tracey Ullman Show.
In 1989, The Simpsons premiered as a regular half-hour show, and has become the longest running scripted show in television history. She also serves as the voice for several of the show's supporting characters. Cartwright has also provided voice work for dozens of animated television shows including Rugrats, All Grown Up!, Kim Possible, Animaniacs, The Critic and The Kellys.
"Not only is Nancy an extremely accomplished alumna, she is a tremendous supporter of the Scripps College of Communication and its students. I am honored to welcome her back to campus to deliver the keynote address for this year's undergraduate commencement ceremonies," said Scripps College of Communication interim Dean Scott Titsworth.
Cartwright received an Emmy Award and an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Voice-Over Performance as Bart Simpson, as well as Emmys for Animaniacs, Pinky, Elmira & the Brain and a Drama-Logue Award for her one-woman play, In Search of Fellini.
In 2000, Cartwright released the best-selling book, "My Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy," detailing her career as an entertainer and voice-actor, and providing a behind-the-scenes look at The Simpsons.
Cartwright is extremely grateful that her career has given her the means to actively support many nonprofit organizations that help children, including Famous Fone Friends, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and particularly her own non-profit, Happy House – an organization that helps create safer communities by "Building Better Families."
The foundation created the Good Choices program which has proven successful in after-school programs in schools, Boys & Girls Clubs and more. As a civic leader, she is Honorary Mayor of the region in which she lives outside of Los Angeles for the fifth consecutive term and is very dedicated to her participation in local organizations and the Chambers of Commerce. She is a member of Women in Film, ASIFA – The International Animation Society and Women in Animation.
In addition to her voice and acting work, she has transitioned to producer as well, starting two companies, Cartwright Entertainment, Inc. and SportsBlast, LLC. These include animation projects, a feature film, documentary works, audio books, live presentations - all innovative, high quality content designed to bring audiences laughter and inspire creative imagination.
The latter's latest venture is an app available on iTunes called "Smoke Your Tires," which reflects her love for race car driving; Nancy is an accredited NASCAR driver. Cartwright Entertainment produces a wide range of creative projects that support Nancy’s ever- expanding career interests. These include audio books, animation projects, feature films, web-based programming, documentary works, stage plays, lectures, and innovative, high-quality content that supports and expands her career goals.
Undergraduate commencement will be held Saturday, June 9, at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Ohio University's Convocation Center in Athens.
The speaker for Ohio University's graduate commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 8, will be Duane McDiarmid, associate professor and chair of sculpture at Ohio University and the 2011 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member.