|Full Name||Daniel Louis Castellaneta|
|Born||October 29, 1957|
|First Role||Nothing in Common (1986)|
Dan Castellaneta is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, singer and television writer. He is best known for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons.
Dan Castellaneta was born in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, to Elsie and Louis Castellaneta. His father was an amateur actor who worked for a printing company. Early on in his life, Castellaneta started taking acting classes and would listen to his father's comedy records and do impressions of the artists. He attended Oak Park and River Forest High School and upon graduation, started attending Northern Illinois University in the fall of 1975. He studied art education, with the goal of becoming an art teacher, but also became a student teacher and would entertain his students with his impressions. Castellaneta was also a regular participant in The Ron Petke and His Dead Uncle Show, a radio show at the university which helped him hone his skills as a voice-over actor.
Castellaneta started acting after his graduation from Northern Illinois University in 1979. He decided that if his career went nowhere he would still have a chance to try something else. He began taking improvisation classes, where he met his future wife Deb Lacusta. He joined Chicago's Second City in 1983, and performed with the troupe until 1987. During this period, he did voice-over work with his wife for various radio stations. He was later on cast in The Tracey Ullman Show, which debuted in 1987 and included a series of animated shorts about a dysfunctional family. Voices were needed for the shorts, so the producers decided to ask Castellaneta to voice Homer. His voice for the character started out as a loose impression of Walter Matthau, but later evolved into a more robust voice. The shorts would eventually be spun off into The Simpsons. Castellaneta has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work on the show as well as an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in the Field of Animation in 1993. Castellaneta has co-written four episodes of The Simpsons with his wife Deb Lacusta.
Castellaneta has also had roles in several other television programs, including Sibs, The Adventures of Dynamo Duck, Darkwing Duck, Back to the Future: The Animated Series, Earthworm Jim, the Genie in Aladdin and Hey Arnold!. In 1999, he appeared in the Christmas special Olive, the Other Reindeer and won an Annie Award for his portrayal of the Postman.
Castellaneta also wrote and stars in a one man play titled Where Did Vincent van Gogh?, as well as released a comedy CD, I Am Not Homer. He chose the title as a parody of Leonard Nimoy's famous first autobiography I Am Not Spock, as well as to show that most of the comedy featured "is not the typical Homer comedy".
Castellaneta lives in Los Angeles with his wife Deb Lacusta, whom he married in 1987. He is a vegetarian, teetotaler, and exercises regularly, as well as practices Tai Chi.
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