Voice actor Charles Martinet is retiring from voicing video game company Nintendo’s flagship character Super Mario.
Martinet joined Nintendo in 1991 when production began on the company’s landmark 3D platformer Super Mario 64, which released in 1996.
“Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64,” the release from Nintendo reads. “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,” the release continues. “But he’ll continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all!”
We have a message for fans of the Mushroom Kingdom. Please take a look. pic.twitter.com/U1ASicOuTO
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) August 21, 2023
“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,” the release concludes. “Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a future date.”
The flagship voice actor acknowledged Nintendo’s release saying his new adventure was beginning.
“You are all Numba One in my heart!” Martinet wrote, adding his character’s infamous “Woohoo!”
— Charles Martinet (@CharlesMartinet) August 21, 2023
During his time with Nintendo, Martinet has voiced Mario, brother Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and other characters in over 150 Nintendo releases.
Martinet voiced Mario’s legacy catchphrases including, “Let’s-a go!,” “Mamma mia” and “Wahoo!”
“I want to voice Mario until I drop dead,” Martinet said in 2021 per IGN. ‘‘If someday I think I am no longer capable of doing it, I will tell Nintendo to look into finding someone else.’’
The newly appointed Mario Ambassador will not be involved in Nintendo’s upcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder scheduled for an Oct. 20 release.
“While Charles is not involved in the game, we’re excited to honor his legacy and contributions, including looking ahead to what he’ll be doing as a Mario Ambassador,” Nintendo said in a statement to Variety.
The voice actor had a brief cameo in 2023’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, in which the title character was played by Guardians Of The Galaxy and Marvel alumni Chris Pratt.