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Nancy Cartwright Goes Into Dayton Hall


Cartwright was was inducted into the Dayton Broadcasters' Hall of Fame on Sunday. Radio Ink EVP, Deborah Parenti, also a Hall of Fame inductee, took part in the presentation. Cartwright is the Emmy award winning voice of The Simpsons' Bart Simpson. The induction ceremony reunited Cartwright with many former WING Radio staff who helped her launch a career that would lead to international success and recognition. Cartwright (left) is pictured here with Parenti.

In accepting the award, Cartwright cited former WING manager, Jim Bennett, and then Assistant GM Parenti, as instrumental in those early years. WING Radio, one of the first Top 40 radio stations in the nation, nurtured many media careers, including Jonathan Winters, Chicago sportscaster Mark Giangreco, John King, Terry Dorsey, Jack Wymer and Steve Kirk.

Nancy Cartwright, "the Voice of Bart Simpson," began her career at WING radio in 1976 doing voice over commercials.  A Warner Brothers rep visited WING and later sent Cartwright a list of contacts in the animation industry. One of them was Daws Butler, known for voicing characters such as Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear.  Cartwright called and left a message in a Cockney accent on his answering machine.  Butler was intrigued, called her back and agreed to be her mentor. The rest, as they say, is history.

But none of this might have happened had it not been for a special man with an ear for talent – Jim Bennett, who was then managing WING. The story really began one summer day when Jim and his wife walked into a Friendly ice cream store in Kettering and met a young lady by the name of Nancy Cartwright.  She impressed the Bennett’s so much that Jim invited her to stop by WING and apply for a position.  Nancy did that and all fell into place. As the voice of “Lily Pad,” she quickly became a featured part of WING’s highly rated afternoon drive show. Her childlike invitation that “everyone jump in the pool” was so convincing that it got the manager in a bit of “hot water” when the local zoning board demanded to see the station’s permit for a pool on the facility grounds!

The young girl with the mega watt smile and incredible voice finished Fairmont West High School, enrolled at Ohio University and later transferred to the University of California so she could be near her mentor Daws Butler.

In 1987, Nancy auditioned for a role in a series of animated shorts about a dysfunctional family that was to appear on The Tracey Ullman Show. It was her original intention to audition for the role of Lisa Simpson, the middle child, but when she arrived at the audition she found the role of Bart, Lisa's brother to be more interesting.  Matt Groening, the series creator, allowed her to audition for Bart and offered her the role on the spot.  She voiced Bart for three seasons on the Ullman show and in 1989, the shorts were spun off into a half hour show called the Simpsons.  The Simpsons are still one of Fox most popular shows and one of the longest running series.
Over the years, Nancy has received a Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding voice over performance and the Annie Award for Best Voice Over in the Field of Animation for her role as Bart Simpson.

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