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Arthur, as he appears in the television series
|First appearance||Arthur's Nose (1976, book debut)
Arthur's Eyes (1996, television debut)
|Created by||Marc Brown|
|Best friend||Buster Baxter|
Arthur Timothy Read is the main character and titular protagonist of both the book series and the PBS children's television show Arthur, created by Marc Brown. On the show, he is eight years old, in Mr. Ratburn's third grade class, and lives in Elwood City.
Arthur is an anthropomorphic aardvark. In Brown's first Arthur book, Arthur's Nose (1976), Arthur is shown with a long nose and resembles an actual aardvark, though as the books progressed and eventually became a TV series, a noticeable, simplified version of Arthur took shape. The character's most recognizable form is a light brown, slanted face with small ears, drawn as a bipedal, pre-pubescent youth with signature round glasses. On more than one occasion, Arthur's classmates tease him for his glasses and somewhat "dorky" attire.
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The tensions between Arthur and his 4-year-old sister Dora Winifred "D.W." Read are a common theme in the Arthur series. Arthur is constantly pestered by his four-year-old younger sister D.W. She usually tries to get Arthur into trouble, although Arthur sometimes retaliates. Despite that, Arthur tries his best to ignore D.W.'s annoying antics most of the time and often does her favors—sometimes at his parents' request and against his will. D.W. also make frequent attempts to hang out with Arthur's friends, who relent in later episodes.
Arthur's parents are his mother, Jane Read, who is a work-at-home accountant, and his father, David L. Read, who runs a catering business. His mother is from the Pittsburgh area and knew Fred Rogers as a child, while most of his father's relatives are from Ohio. He also has a baby sister named Kate and a pet dog named Pal.
Appearances from Arthur's extended family include Grandma Thora, Grandpa Dave, Uncle Fred, Uncle Richard, Uncle Bud, Uncle Sean, Aunt Jessica, Aunt Loretta, Aunt Lucy, and his cousins Cora, Monique, Ricky, George, and other unnamed relatives. However, the only two members of Arthur's extended family who have appeared more than once as of today are Grandma Thora and Grandpa Dave.
Grandma Thora lives in a house not too far from Arthur's in Elwood City and is known to be a bad cook, but a loving grandmother and a world-class marbles player. She loves to play bingo every Friday night, and in some episodes has to watch over Arthur and D.W. She is good friends with Mrs. McGrady, the school cafeteria monitor. Grandpa Dave lives on a farm he claims has been in the family for 150 years.
Mary Alice "Muffy" Crosswire
Muffy is popular and rich due to her dad's successful used automobile business.
Alan "The Brain" Powers
The Brain's true name is Alan, but his friends call him Brain due to his high intelligence and habit of correcting others' mistakes in many subjects.
George is a ventriloquist and has a wooden giraffe ventriloquist dummy named Wally. George also has dyslexia, but he doesn't let that get in his way.
Shelley "Binky" Barnes
Binky acts as the main school bully, but he can't intimidate some of the students, especially Sue Ellen.
Francine Frensky and Sue Ellen Armstrong are some more of Arthur's friends who appear most frequently.
These are the people who have been the voice actor for Arthur in the TV series:
- Michael Yarmush (Seasons 1–5)
- Justin Bradley (Season 6)
- Mark Rendall (Season 6 U.S. reruns, Seasons 7–8)
- Cameron Ansell (Seasons 9–11)
- Dallas Jokic (Season 12–15)
- Drew Adkins (Season 16–17)
- William Healy (Season 18–19)
- Jacob Ursomarzo (Season 20–present)
International Voice Actors
Since Arthur is shown in more than 80 countries, Arthur is dubbed by these voice actors shown here:
- Iman Bitar (1st voice) and Iman Hale (2nd voice) (Middle East)
- Diego Larrea (1st voice), and José Leonardo (2nd voice) (Brazil)
- Olli Parviainen (Finland)
- Lawrence Arcouette (Season 1-3), Kim Jalabert (Season 4-6) (First Dub in Quebec French), Vincent de Bouard (Season 7-15), and Emilie Guillaume (Season 16-present) (2nd Dub in European French) (French-speaking countries)
- Baráth István (Hungary)
- Debbi Besserglick and Shiri Gadni (Besserglick voiced Arthur from its first run until her death from cancer in 2005. After her death, she was replaced by Shiri Gadni as the voice of Arthur in the following seasons.) (Hebrew)
- Alfredo Leal (Season 1-2), Hector Emmanuel Gómez (Season 3-5), Kalimba Marichal (singing voice) (Latin America)
- Fariba Shahin Moghadam (Persian)
- Teresa Chaves (1st voice), and Carlso Martins (2nd voice) (Portugal)
- Petre Ghimbăşan (Romania)
- Elisabet Bargalló (Spain)
- Leo Hallerstam (Sweden)
- "Arthur's Big Hit". Arthur. Season 4. Episode 1. October 5, 1999.
- PBS Kids web site