Robert Frederick Paulsen III was born on March 11, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan. Rob loved cartoons as a kid and aspired to be a professional hockey player. Ironically, acting was something to "fall back on" and even though Rob voiced numerous characters in Warner Bros. cartoons (Taz-Mania, Tiny Toon Adventures), he is best known as the voices of the wisecracking Raphael in the original animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series (and ironically he would later portray Donatello in the 2012 version), and in more recent times the Motor Mouthed, Groucho Marx-esque Yakko Warner on the Peabody and two-time Emmy award-winning series Animaniacs and the boisterous and energetic laboratory mouse Pinky on two hit series, Pinky and the Brain and Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain.
"I'm getting paid to do what I got in trouble for in the seventh grade," jests Rob Paulsen, who won a Daytime Emmy in 1999 as "Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program" for Pinky and the Brain (WB). Though nominated twice previously, the victory was especially sweet due to the most formidable competition ever - fellow nominees Louie Anderson, Ernest Borgnine, Dom De Luise and Jeffrey Tambor. In addition to his Emmy, Rob won back-to-back Annie Awards in 1997 and 1998. "I absolutely love what I do and thank my lucky stars for 25 years of full-time employment in this business," he admits.
"It's a treat to portray a complex character," Rob explains about Pinky, a gangling mouse with funny teeth, a head filled with clouds and an inane imagination that is punctuated with a staccato laugh. "Besides ... where else could I find a job where emotional outbursts and odd exclamations like 'Egad!', 'Narf!', 'Poit!', 'Splonk!' and 'Zort!' are allowed?" With over 2,000 half-hours of animation to his credit, Rob's versatility shines in his starring role as the voice of Yakko on Animaniacs. One of Yakko's most popular musical skits, "The Nations of the World" (set to a Mexican hat dance tune), was memorized by Paulsen, and is a guaranteed showstopper if asked to sing it at a convention.
The goal of bringing absolute believability to a fictional character, live-action or animated, is what every actor strives for. Those committed to their career who combine experience, passion and skill are likely to succeed. Those gifted with exceptional talent who focus on maximizing their potential by finding their own niche, quickly break apart from the pack. After years of honing their craft and consistently delivering memorable performances in which the character impacts an indelible image on the viewer, the public and the industry take notice, singling out the best.
Paulsen's extensive credits include on-camera roles in numerous motion pictures including Body Double, Stewardess School, Eyes of Fire, The Perfect Match, Spaceballs, and Warlock. His television acting credits include guest-starring roles on MacGyver and St. Elsewhere. Additionally, he is one of the most sought-after voice actors in the commercial arena, performing in over 1000 of them.
Realizing how fortunate he is and passionate about giving to charity, Rob supports various charitable organizations, particularly those benefiting children and cancer research. Rob's volunteer work with GOALmodels is particularly rewarding. GOALmodels, a high school program in Reseda, California, is designed to inspire ninth-graders to set goals and overcome obstacles in life. Blending his life experiences with passion for his work, his presentations are informative, entertaining and inspiring. In his leisure time, Rob enjoys golf, ice hockey and riding his motorcycle. He spends the majority of his free time with his wife, Parrish; son, Ash (an editor for UDON Entertainment who currently also works at GameXplain), and two Yorkshire terriers, Pooshie and Tala.
Some of Paulsen's roles include:
- Snow Job in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
- Chase, Air Raid, and Slingshot in The Transformers
- Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)
- Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)
- Gusto in Adventures of the Gummi Bears
- Saber Rider in Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs
- Antoine in Sonic Sat AM
- Yakko Warner, Dr. Otto von Scratchensniff, and Pinky in Animaniacs
- The titular Max in Mighty Max
- Carl Wheezer and Yokian Fleet Commander in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron
- His alien counterpart Doppy in Planet Sheen
- Atchan, The Amazing Dr. Mysto and others in Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi
- Jack Fenton, Nicolai Technus, and the Box Ghost in Danny Phantom
- Gordon in Catscratch
- Coconut Fred on Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island (one of the few roles Paulsen considers an Old Shame)
- Rev Runner on Loonatics Unleashed
- Peck the Rooster on Back at the Barnyard
- Dead Juju, Tlaloc, Dream Juju, Giant Misunderstanding on Tak and the Power of Juju.
- Mr. Vanderbosh on The Replacements
- Experiment 625 (a.k.a. Reuben) on Lilo & Stitch: The Series as well as its two films, Stitch! The Movie and Leroy & Stitch
- Major Glory on Dexter's Laboratory and an episode of The Powerpuff Girls
- Stanly Ipkiss and the Mask in The Mask series
- Arthur on The Tick (second season only; in season one, Micky Dolenz from the 1960s band The Monkees was the voice of Arthur)
- The screen-knocking character Mr. Opportunity in ads for Honda of America, beckoning customers to come in for lower-priced cars before the new ones come in.
- He has made several appearances in Steve Oedekerk's 'Thumb' filmettes.
- Morte in Planescape: Torment.
- Gray Fox / The Cyborg Ninja in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, replacing Greg Eagles because he sounded too similar to another role he did in the game - the DARPA Chief.
- Hard Drive in SWAT Kats
- Sean One in Phantom 2040
- Throttle in Biker Mice from Mars
- Steelbeak in Darkwing Duck
- Brick and Boomer in The Powerpuff Girls
- PJ Pete in Goof Troop and its spinoff movies A Goofy Movie and An Extremely Goofy Movie
- Fowlmouth, Concord, Furball (one episode), and Arnold in Tiny Toon Adventures
- Spooky in The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper
- Officer Beauregard "Buck" Tuddrussel in Time Squad
- Alien buddy Mark Chang on The Fairly Oddparents
- Fuzzy Bunny in The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat
- Bubsy the Bobcat in the second game and the animated pilot (Another of the few Old Shame roles for Rob Paulsen.)
- Bravoman and Alpha Man in the Bravoman web series
- Spike in The Land Before Time
- A couple of generic Mooks in Spaceballs (one who helps Dark Helmet up after the Ludicrous Speed meltdown, and another reporting back negative in "Combing the desert" for Lone Starr and crew)
- When a Jim Carrey movie (The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, either of the Ace Ventura movies, etc) has to be edited for TV, they usually get Rob Paulsen to dub over Carrey's offending lines.
- Dickie and Super Snooper in Yo Yogi!
- 2-T Fru-T in Butt-Ugly Martians