Fans of The Simpsons are celebrating the birthday of Julie Kavner today, as the voice actress best known for playing Marge Simpson has just turned 70 years old. Like many other voiceover artists from the animated series, Kavner's voice is very distinct, putting it among the most recognizable voices from television history. Classic TV lovers also remember her fondly for her role on Rhoda and other comedy shows. With so many fans across the globe, a large number of them have been hopping on social media in honor of Kavner's birthday to send their well wishes and praise to the veteran performer.
"Happy birthday Julie Kavner, American actress and voice actress," one tweet reads, including a photo of Kavner alongside an image of Marge Simpson.
Another echoes, "Happy 70th birthday to actress Julie Kavner, best known for playing Brenda Morgenstern on the 70's sitcom Rhoda... and for voicing Marge Simpson!"
"Happy 70th Birthday to multi-Emmy winner Julie Kavner," another states, referring to her Emmy accolades and also adding a YouTube video about Kavner's career.
A lifelong performer, Kavner found her first big break in 1974 when she was cast in the role of Brenda Morgenstern, Rhoda's sister, in The Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off series Rhoda. Kavner would star on the series for its entire four-year run, winning a Best Supporting Actress Emmy for the role along with three additional nominations. During her run on the show, Kavner would also win another Daytime Emmy Award for the starring role in the TV special The Girl Who Couldn't Lose.
About a decade after Rhoda went off the air, Kavner began working with Tracey Ullman when she was cast as a performer on the latter's sketch comedy series The Tracey Ullman Show. She continued to find great success for her various performances, even earning four more Emmy nominations for her work. Of course, longtime fans of The Simpsons may also remember The Tracey Ullman Show for spawning The Simpsons, which began as a series of animated shorts for the sketch comedy program. As Kavner and Dan Castellaneta were both already working on Ullman's show, they were respectively cast as Marge and Homer Simpson for the cartoon videos.
As they say, the rest is history. The Simpsons would branch out to become its own full-fledged animated series on Fox in 1989, spawning the most successful cartoon series of all time. Continuing to voice Marge, Kavner is also known for voicing Marge's twin sisters, Selma and Patty, along with other members of the Bouvier family. A lifelong Emmy darling, Kavner's voiceover work would again have her nominated for even more Emmy Awards, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for the season three episode, "I Married Marge." To this day, Kavner still voices the Simpon family matriarch on the long-running series, a role that she has played for over three decades and nearly 700 episodes.
Without a doubt, Kavner is truly a one of a kind performer with a voice like no other. Let's hope her 70th birthday is the best one yet for the veteran Emmy-winning actress. Happy birthday, Julie! You can take a look at some of the online fan tributes for Kavner below.