Shacknews Person of the Year 2023 - Charles Martinet

2023 saw the legendary Charles Martinet conclude his run as Mario and cameo in the Super Mario Bros. Movie.


Charles Martinet is a voice acting legend. Debuting as the iconic Mario in Super Mario 64 back in 1996, Martinet went on to voice the Italian plumber in just about every video game appearance since, including countless 2D and 3D platforms, spin-offs, and crossovers. Even non-gamers will instantly recognize Martinet’s “yahoo!” or “it’s a me!”

Charles Martinet’s legendary run as video game’s most iconic character ended this year when Kevin Afghani took over the role of Mario and Luigi in Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Prior to the game’s release, Nintendo released a statement announcing Martinet’s departure from the role. They also announced that Martinet would be staying in the Nintendo family, receiving the new title of Mario Ambassador. Nintendo also released a video of Charles Martinet and Shigeru Miyamoto talking about the change.

Fittingly, Martinet made a cameo in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, in which he voiced Mario’s father and Giuseppe, the owner of Punch-Out Pizzeria.

Never has a transition between voice actors been handled with so much class and respect. It’s common for roles to be recast or for actors to be replaced, but it’s not common for companies to release official statements thanking the actor and giving them a new role to keep them in the family. It speaks to the monumental contributions that Charles Martinet has provided over the years to Nintendo, Mario, and the fans.

Be sure to read over the rest of the Shacknews Awards in our Year of the Games: 2023 feature.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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