Harry Julius Shearer is a starring voice actor on The Simpsons. He provided the voices of many characters, among them Reverend Lovejoy, Charles Montgomery Burns, Ned Flanders, and Seymour Skinner -- to name only a few.
Shearer began acting at the age of seven at the suggestion of his piano teacher-turned-agent. He made his film debut in the classic Abbott and Costello Go To Mars (1953) and had a small role in the first CinemaScope movie, The Robe (1953), where he played David.
He often appeared on The Jack Benny Program (1953, 1955) where he played young Jack Benny, he played a street kid in Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1957), and played the role of Eddie Haskell in the pilot episode of Leave It To Beaver (1957).
Shearer was a writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live (1979-1980, 1984-1985) for two seasons. His on-screen performance as a NASA recruitment official in The Right Stuff (1983) shows that he can also support a convincing "establishment" persona. Shearer's other film work includes Guido Finucci in Oscar (1991), Ben Starr in The Fisher King (1991), Handsome Dan in Wayne's World II (1993), and Monosoff in Pure Luck (1991).
His television work has included Politically Incorrect, Martin Mull's Portrait of a White Marriage (1988), HBO Comedy Hour Live: The Magic of Live, Fernwood 2 Night (1977), Ellen (1994), Friends (1995), Murphy Brown (1990), L.A. Law (1993), and The News Hole, for which he won an Ace Award for Best Game Show ('95).
In the 1998 American Remake of Godzilla, Shearer played New York anchorman Charles Caiman along with fellow Simpsons co-stars Nancy Cartwright as newswoman, and Hank Azaria as Victor "Animal" Palotti. His character was not shown in the animated series of Godzilla. He was a sports announcer in the Little Giants (1994).
Until 1998, Shearer was paid $30,000 per episode. During a pay dispute in 1998, Fox threatened to replace the six main voice actors with new actors, going as far as preparing for casting of new voices. The dispute, however, was resolved and Shearer received $125,000 per episode until 2004, when the voice actors demanded that they be paid $360,000 an episode. The dispute was resolved a month later, and Shearer's pay rose to $250,000 per episode. After salary re-negotiations in 2008, the voice actors received $400,000 per episode. Three years later, with Fox threatening to cancel the series unless production costs were cut, Shearer and the other cast members accepted a 30% pay cut, down to just over $300,000 per episode. On May 14, 2015, Shearer announced he was leaving the show. After the other voice actors signed a contract for the same pay, Shearer refused, stating it was not enough. Al Jean made a statement from the producers saying "the show must go on," but did not elaborate on what might happen to the characters Shearer voiced. On July 7, 2015, Shearer agreed to continue with the show, on the same terms as the other voice actors.
Harry Shearer's Characters
- Official Website (includes contact information)
- Shearer's Twitter account
- Harry Shearer at Wikipedia
|Dan Castellaneta | Julie Kavner | Nancy Cartwright | Yeardley Smith | Hank Azaria | Harry Shearer|
|Pamela Hayden | Tress MacNeille | Maggie Roswell | Russi Taylor | Karl Wiedergott | Christopher Collins | Doris Grau | Jo Ann Harris | Marcia Mitzman Gaven|
|Special Guest Voices|
|Kelsey Grammer | Maurice LaMarche | Joe Mantegna | Marcia Wallace | Greg Berg | Albert Brooks | Phil Hartman | Jan Hooks | Jane Kaczmarek | Jon Lovitz | Frank Welker|