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April 25: Hank Azaria and The Simpsons

April 24, 2016

February 14, 2011 Hollywood, Ca. Hank Azaria Matt Groening Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony © LuMar Jr. *** Local Caption ***Actor Hank Azaria, who voiced several characters in The Simpsons (including Moe, Apu, Chief Wiggums and at least ten other regulars) and has won five Emmys and a Screen Actors Guild Award, was born to a Sephardic family in Queens on this date in 1964. His parents were from Thessalonika, and Ladino was the household language. He began working on the Simpsons in 1989 and was paid $30,000 per episode until 1998, when he and the five other main voice actors on the show had a pay dispute with Fox; by 2008, their pay was $360,000 apiece per episode. (Yikes, I am in the wrong business — Ed.) Azaria has also played many roles in film and television, including that of Marc Blitzstein in The Cradle Will Rock, author Mitch Ablom (with Jack Lemmon) in Tuesdays with Morrie, and Warsaw Ghetto Uprising commander Mordechaj Anielewicz in Uprising.

I “remember every voice I hear, famous or otherwise... they kind of remain in the memory banks, so I’m ready to trot them out.” —Hank Azaria