Nancy Cartwright grew up in Kettering and discovered her talent for voices at an early age. While in the fourth grade at St. Charles Borromeo, she won a school-wide speech competition with her performance of Rudyard Kipling’s How the Camel Got His Hump. Cartwright graduated from Fairmont West High School where she participated in theater and marching band. She regularly entered public speaking competitions, placing first in the “Humorous Interpretation” category at the National District Tournament two years running.
In 1976, Cartwright landed a part-time job doing voice-overs for commercials on WING radio. A representative from Warner Bros. Records visited WING and later sent Cartwright a list of contacts in the animation industry. One of these was Daws Butler, known for voicing characters such as Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Elroy Jetson, Spike the Bulldog and Yogi Bear. Cartwright called him and left a message in a Cockney accent on his answering machine. Butler immediately called her back and agreed to be her mentor.
And now Nancy Cartwright is widely known to be the voice of Bart Simpson, of The Simpsons. That in itself is a massive accomplishment, since the character of Bart Simpson and the Simpson’s show is such a huge part of American pop culture.