Charles Martinet steps down as voice of Nintendo's Super Mario

American actor spent decades playing beloved gaming characters and will now travel the world to promote the brand

Charles Martinet is stepping down from the role of Mario after decades. Photo: Nintendo
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Charles Martinet, who has voiced Nintendo's Super Mario character since the 1990s is stepping down, Nintendo of America confirmed on Monday.

Martinet will take on the role of “Mario Ambassador,” travelling across the world to promote the character, signing autographs and performing Nintendo character voices for fans.

“It’s been a privilege working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him,” Nintendo said.

Aside from the beloved plumber, Martinet has also voiced Luigi, Wario and Waluigi across multiple video games, and even played Mario's dad in the recent Super Mario Bros Movie.

In a previous interview with The National, Martinet said Mario and Nintendo had been a part of so many people’s childhoods and that it meant a lot for him to be part of that. “It's really absolutely spectacular. It's such a joy. And it makes it such an honour for me to play a character that I know is something that people love,” he added.

He also spoke about the enduring appeal of Mario and Nintendo games: “Life is like a video game. You play and your character evolves and develops and you end up defeating the monsters and rescuing the princess, and you realise you are a hero the whole way.”

Reflecting on the role at the time, he said he had no intention of stepping down, but added: “I’m going as long as I can. I’ll know when I can't and I don't sound right and I'll be the first to say it. But the wonderful thing about a voice-over talent is you last so long.”

Nintendo did not give say why Martinet is stepping down or who would replace him as Mario's voice.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: August 22, 2023, 5:12 AM