If you’re a child of the 90s, you might want to sit down. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that voiceover star Christine Cavanaugh, best known for voicing Chuckie Finster in “Rugrats” and Dexter in “Dexter’s Laboratory,” has died at the age of 51.
At the time of this report, no cause of death had been given, but Cavanaugh passed away just before Christmas on December 22nd. She leaves behind an incredible legacy of work in countless cartoons.
After attending Utah State University and the University of Hawaii, Cavanaugh moved to California to pursue acting and got her big break as the voice of Gosalyn Waddlemeyer-Mallard on the animated series “Darkwing Duck” in 1991. And her career took off from there.
Her most famous voicework includes regular roles on “Rugrats” as Chuckie Finster, “Dexter’s Laboratory” as Dexter, “Aaahh! Real Monsters” as Oblina, “101 Dalmatians: The Series” as Dumpling, “Sonic the Hedgehog” as Bunnie Rabbot and “The Critic” as Marty Sherman. She also lent her voice in guest roles in “The Powerpuff Girls” and “The Wild Thornberrys” amongst several other cartoons.
Cavanaugh also appeared in small live-action roles in films like Jerry Maguire and shows like “Cheers,” “Salute Your Shorts,” and “The X-Files.” Otherwise, Cavanaugh’s most famous role might be that of providing the voice of Babe, the pig from the movie of the same name. Here’s a touching portion of the actress’ obituary from The Los Angeles Times:
“Christine has touched many lives, some we know and others we do not. Whether she was a baby sitter as an adolescent, a voice in a cartoon, an aunt, a sister, and friend, young or old it didn’t matter. She always made the most of where you were and what circumstance arose. Her imagination, humor and intelligence were evident to anyone who had the pleasure of meeting her. It was of no surprise when she was able to share her talents with the world. Many know of her from the roles she played, but in each role there was a part of her showing through that the ones who truly knew her could see. The childlike awe of the world, humor to deal with the unpleasantness of reality, strength to deal with the challenges we all face, and intelligence to know when to act or accept what fate had allowed. Christine lived her life the way she wanted. Accolades, notoriety, and recognition were not the reason for her interest in entertainment, it was for the love of entertainment, to make people smile. When her life changed she found herself needing the quiet of the country and her love changed from entertaining to hiking, reading, writing and living a simple life. Even with the evolution in her life her wit, wisdom and imagination were still alive and well.”
This is a huge blow to my childhood, especially since Cavanaugh was inspiration to me as a kid to maybe pursue voice acting (though it wasn’t a career that came to fruition). I may have also had a bit of a crush on the actress, who was quite a looker in the 90s. Cavanaugh retired from acting in 2001 (Bart Simpson voice actress Nancy Cartwright took over Chuckie on “Rugrats”), but she left behind an impressive legacy during her time in the industry. Our thoughts go out to Cavanaugh’s friends and family. She will be missed.
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