The Simpsons: Inside the bizarre private lives of voice stars and their net worth

From Scientology links to a recluse and a $400,000 lawsuit, the private lives of The Simpsons’ voice actors has been anything but boring.

After more than three decades on air, the The Simpsons has legions of fans all over the world.

But what about the stars who voice the much beloved characters?

This week, US actress Yeardley Smith, who voices Lisa Simpson, opened up about her secret eating disorder, which she battled from the age of 14 up to 39.

“I’m 57 now … My particular predilection was bulimia,” Yeardly told the Allison Interviews podcast.

Smith has been married three times, with her first two marriages, to Christopher Grove and Daniel Erickson, both ending in divorce after two and six years respectively.

It was third time lucky with retired Detective Daniel Grice, whom she married earlier this month. They met while he was working as her security guard.

Smith, who has amassed a reported $122 million fortune, is not the only cast member to have endured mixed fortunes in her personal life.

Here we look at the turbulent times that have hit The Simpsons cast.

Nancy Cartwright, Bart Simpson

Bart might be the most famous cartoon lad of all, but he’s actually voiced by a woman, US actress Nancy Cartwright.

The actress, 64, who is worth a cool $115 million, was one of six children growing up and discovered her talent for doing different voices at an early age.

While her childhood was peaceful, everything was shattered in 1978 when her mum Miriam died, just before Cartwright planned to move to LA.

The loss almost saw her change her relocation plans but in the end she pushed ahead.

She met her first husband – Warren Murphy, who was 24 years older than her – on her birthday in 1988 and married him after two months.

They had two children, but divorced in 2002.

While raised Catholic, in 1991 she changed religions and joined the Church of Scientology.

She donated $14 million – twice her annual salary – to it in 2007, which saw her awarded their Patron Laureate Award.

Cartwright was caught up in a scandal when her fiance Stephen Brackett, a construction worker, took his own life in May 2009.

Afterwards, TMZ reported that she was embroiled in a $374,000 legal battle. Brackett’s construction company had allegedly been hired to do up a restaurant, and took out insurance with the American Safety Casualty Insurance Company (ASCIC).

Cartwright had reportedly agreed to cover ASCIC’s costs if anything went wrong.

ASCIC claimed Stephen only did part of the work and “diverted contract funds” to the Church of Scientology.

He then committed suicide and his company folded when work was only half finished. According to TMZ, ASCIC then sued Cartwright.

Julie Kavner, Marge Simpson

Julie Kavner plays one of the most famous mums on TV as Marge Simpson, but when it comes to real life, she prefers to be as private as possible.

The US actress, 71, refuses to be photographed at work or out and about when she can manage it.

In fact, she doesn’t like inviting people to her home, telling the New York Times: “I have had friends for years who have never seen my house.”

Kavner, who has a reported net worth of $122 million, revealed she didn’t enjoy her high school years and was a bit of a loner throughout her studies.

Her ability to blend in is what allows her to be such a great actor, friends and family claim.

“Julie loves to pretend and observe,” Nora Kavner said. “Acting is a chance for her to become another person. She becomes incognito and emerges as someone else.”

Despite being fiercely private, it is known that her partner is retired producer David Davis and the pair have been together since 1976.

Dan Castellaneta, Homer Simpson

Compared to his co-stars, Dan Castellaneta has had an easy ride in his private life when not playing grumpy dad Homer.

The 64-year-old US actor has been acting since he was 16 when his mother enrolled him in classes.

His initial plan was to become a teacher when he grew up, and he started on the road to that before realising his calling was drama.

Castellaneta was hired to play Homer from the beginning of the show and went through a couple of voices before settling on the one viewers now love. When not playing the animated character, his voice sounds completely different.

In 1987 he married actress Deb Lacusta and the pair are still together.

Castellaneta, who is worth $125 million, is said to be teetotal, a devout catholic and a vegetarian who practices Tai-Chi.

He was briefly at the centre of an intellectual property battle in 2002 when he used his Homer voice to introduce comedian Paul Krassner, The Guardian reported.

In the iconic character’s voice, Castellaneta asked: “If there is no God, then who has placed a pox on me and mocks me every day?”

Krassner was keen to use the snippet on his album butFox refused, claiming the voice was their intellectual property.

The comedian responded by posting the clip on his website.

Hank Azaria, Moe Szyslak

Hank Azaria, 58, plays a number of characters on The Simpsons but is best known for being the voice of grumpy bartender Moe.

The US actor, who also happens to be the wealthiest among the cast with a reported $130 million in the bank, admits his obsession with acting from 16 years old was to the detriment of his academic studies, but thankfully it paid off.

He has been married twice; his first to US actress Helen Hunt broke down after just a year, with the pair divorcing after a separation period of six months.

Azaria and his second wife Katie Wright have a son together named Hal and are still happily married.

He came under fire for his voice work as store owner Apu in April this year. Azaria played the character for more than 30 years and during that time Apu had been blasted for enforcing racial stereotypes.

Apologising on Dax Shepherd’s Armchair Expert podcast, the actor said: “I really do apologise. I know you weren’t asking for that but it’s important.

“I apologise for my part in creating that and participating in that. Part of me feels I need to go round to every single Indian person in this country and apologise.”

He added: “I really didn’t know any better. I didn’t think about it. I was unaware of how much relative advantage I had received in this country as a white kid from Queens.

“Just because there were good intentions it doesn‘t mean there weren’t real negative consequences to the thing that I am accountable for.”

Harry Shearer, Mr Burns and Ned Flanders

The 78-year-old US actor is known for voicing the evil power plant boss Mr Burns and the friendly neighbour Ned Flanders.

He got into acting through his piano teacher, who decided to become an agent for child actors and asked his parents if she could take him to an audition.

From there his career took off until the early 1960s when he quit showbiz to become a “serious person”, but it lasted all of a month.

Shearer’s first marriage to folk singer Penelope Nichols lasted just two years.

He remained unmarried until 1993 when he tied the knot with Welsh singer-songwriter Judith Owen.

The couple own music label Courgette Records and split their time between homes in Santa Monica, California, the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Notting Hill, London.

In 2010 he released the documentary The Big Uneasy, which he directed. It charted the failures that led to New Orleans being devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Prior to the DVD release, he would travel America going to screenings and taking questions from audience members.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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