Kevin Michael Richardson
It was his deep, resonant voice that set Kevin Michael Richardson apart as a voice actor. Richardson's low tones appeared in a huge number of animated movies, TV shows, and video games throughout his career. Though his voice was often used for evil characters, he became best known for voicing both the lovable redneck Lester Krinklesac and the unmotivated Cleveland Brown Jr. on the "Family Guy" spinoff "The Cleveland Show" (Fox 2009-2013). Richardson was born in The Bronx, NY. He was classically trained in acting at Syracuse University. After he graduated in 1988, he said he never really struggled to find work. One of his first gigs was in an AT&T commercial, and in 1992 he began taking on regular TV roles. His voice could be heard on beloved children's cartoons, as the stuck-up mayor in the animated reboot of "The Mask" (CBS 1995) and suitably as Hephaestus in the TV spin-off of Disney's "Hercules" (Disney 1998). One of his favorite roles was as Captain Gantu, the menacing and rule-following antagonist in Disney's Hawaiian sci-fi adventure "Lilo and Stitch" (2002). For his turn as a growly-voiced Joker in "The Batman" animated TV series (Kids WB 2004-2008), he received two Daytime Emmy nominations. These examples only scrape the surface of Richardson's incredibly busy career; he appeared in almost every famous animated series from the 1990s onwards, in addition to in a large variety of video game voices and commercial appearances. He dabbled in music production, helping with his wife Monica's jazz albums. After "The Cleveland Show" ended in 2013, he took on a regular role as The Shredder, the antagonist of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Syndicated 2012-) reboot, and continued voicing a variety of characters in beloved comedies from "Family Guy" (Fox 1999-) to "The Simpsons" (Fox 1989-).