Jump to content

Jim Cummings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jim Cummings
Cummings in 2022
James Jonah Cummings

(1952-11-03) November 3, 1952 (age 71)
  • Voice actor
  • podcast host
Years active1984–present
WorksFull list
Stephanie Jardon
(m. 2001; div. 2011)
YouTube information
Years active2023–present
GenreVoice acting
Total views10,539,737[1]

James Jonah Cummings (born November 3, 1952)[2][3] is an American voice actor and podcast host. Beginning his career in 1984, he has appeared in almost 400 roles. Cummings has frequently worked with The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros., including as the official voice of Winnie the Pooh since 1988, Tigger since 1989, the Tasmanian Devil since 1991, and Pete since 1992. Other notable roles include Fat Cat and Monterey Jack in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (1989–1990), the title character of Darkwing Duck (1991–1992), Kaa in Jungle Cubs (1996–1998) and The Jungle Book 2 (2003), Cat in CatDog (1998–2005), and Police Chief Gluteus in Ozzy & Drix (2002–2004) and Ray in The Princess and the Frog (2009).

Early life[edit]

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Cummings attended Immaculate Conception and St. Columba grade schools as well as Ursuline High School and graduated from there in 1970.[4]

Upon his graduation from high school, Cummings relocated to New Orleans, where he designed and painted Mardi Gras floats, worked as a river boat deck hand, and sang and played drums in the regionally-successful rock band Fusion.[5] He later married and moved to Anaheim, California, where he managed a video store in the early 1980s, before launching his voice acting career in late 1984.[6]


Jim Cummings (middle), with Loren Lester (right), and Alan Oppenheimer (left) in 2015

Early work and voice doubling[edit]

Cummings's first voice role was as Lionel the Lion and Aunt Fira in Dumbo's Circus.[6][7] Some of Cummings' earliest vocal work was at Disney, where he replaced Sterling Holloway as the voice of Winnie the Pooh in 1988. His impression proved to be so spot-on that he also filled in for Holloway as Kaa for both Jungle Cubs and The Jungle Book 2, and as the Cheshire Cat for various Disney video games. He also notably impersonated J. Pat O'Malley in the roles of Colonel Hathi for both aforementioned productions and the Colonel in 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Louis Prima as King Louie in Jungle Cubs and TaleSpin, and Wayne Knight as Tantor the Elephant in The Legend of Tarzan. Starting with Goof Troop, Cummings also became the regular voice of Pete.

Beginning with The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Cummings alternated with Paul Winchell as Tigger, before fully replacing him as the character starting with The Tigger Movie. He had also filled in for Winchell as the voice of Zummi Gummi in the final season of Adventures of the Gummi Bears, and as Dick Dastardly in Wacky Races Forever and Wacky Races Starring Dastardly and Muttley. Similarly, he alternated with Peter Cullen in the role of Monterey Jack in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers. In The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, Cummings voiced King Triton in place of Kenneth Mars, who was unable to reprise the role due to his struggles with pancreatic cancer. In 1991, he was hired by Warner Bros. Animation to voice Taz on the animated series Taz-Mania and would continue to voice the character in various Looney Tunes media.

When actor Jeremy Irons, the voice of Scar in The Lion King, developed vocal problems during the recording of the song "Be Prepared", Cummings replaced him on the remainder of the track.[8] He also provided Scar's voice in a brief nightmare sequence in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. Cummings would later be hired as the singing double for both Russell Means as Chief Powhatan and Gordon Tootoosis as Kekata in Pocahontas, and the singing double for Christopher Lloyd as Grigori Rasputin in Anastasia. He went onto understudy for Lloyd by voicing Rasputin for the Anastasia: Adventures with Pooka and Bartok video game.

Cummings has also voiced Smokey Bear for several U.S. Forest Service commercials, ads, and promos from 1993 to 2008.[9]

Original characters[edit]

Besides being a voice double and sound-alike, Cummings has also voiced original characters.

In Rescue Rangers and TaleSpin, he portrayed a wide variety of other characters. His most famous role in Rescue Rangers was the villainous Fat Cat, and for TaleSpin, he notably starred as the show's main antagonist, Don Karnage. After both shows concluded production, Cummings went on to portray the title characters in Darkwing Duck and Bonkers, each of which he also got to voice other characters. He would later co-star with Tom Kenny in CatDog, with Cummings playing Cat and Kenny voicing Dog. Also, despite having starred in animated feature films under "additional voices", Cummings achieved a motion picture breakthrough by starring in Disney's Aladdin, where he voiced both Razoul the Agrabah Guard Captain and Farouk the Merchant. He later went on to voice original characters for a variety of the company's theatrical and direct-to-video films, such as Ed the Hyena in The Lion King and Ray the Firefly in The Princess and the Frog. In 1998, Cummings also starred as Ocula the Gorgonite in Small Soldiers, which was a live-action film directed by Joe Dante.

Aside from Fat Cat and Don Karnage, Cummings's involvements as Pete and the Tasmanian Devil were elements that typecast him in antagonistic roles. An example comes from when he voiced Steele the Alaskan Malamute in Universal's Balto. According to an interview with director Simon Wells, the role was originally offered to Brendan Fraser, but executive producer Steven Spielberg recommended recasting the role with Cummings because he wanted to feel a clearer sense of Steele's "inherent evil". Wells stated that Cummings "did a fantastic job, and totally made the character live, so I don't regret the choice.".[10] Other villain roles Cummings notably took on include Sierra the Cearadactylus in The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire, and Dr. Robotnik in the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series that aired from 1993 to 1994. He also voiced several characters in the 1997 video game Fallout, but his most notable role was the game's main antagonist, The Master.

In addition, he voiced various characters for the Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry, and Star Wars franchises. His most famous role in Star Wars is Hondo Ohnaka the Weequay Pirate. According to Cummings, Ohnaka was initially only going to appear in a two or three episode story arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but the character was so well-received that he became much more recurring throughout the franchise. Following the departure of Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, Cummings was hired to portray characters in several productions by Dreamworks, most notably voicing the Captain of Lord Farquaad's Guards in Shrek, Hernán Cortés in The Road to El Dorado along with additional characters, and Luca in Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. In 2006, Cummings voiced a variety of characters for the Curious George animated TV show, notably voicing that of Pisghetti the Italian Chef, the male members of the Quint family, and Jumpy Squirrel, the latter which he provided merely animal sounds. The series became one of the longest-running American children's programs around, having initially run for nine seasons on PBS Kids before being renewed following the launch of Peacock, the streaming service of NBCUniversal.

Recent works[edit]

In 2018, Cummings became the first voice performer of animation to reprise a role or more for a live-action Disney film, reprising the roles of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger for Christopher Robin. For the film, the role of Tigger was originally going to be played by Chris O'Dowd, but due to negative reactions from test audiences, Disney immediately replaced O'Dowd with Cummings.[11][12] His performance as Pooh was particularly praised by Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair, who felt it was "Oscar-worthy" and said that "[a]s Winnie the Pooh … the veteran voice actor gives such sweet, rumpled, affable life to the wistful bear of literary renown that it routinely breaks the heart."[13]

Nearly three years later, Cummings reprised the role of Taz by providing uncredited vocal effects for the character in some scenes of Space Jam: A New Legacy.[14] His recordings in question were mixed with material by Fred Tatasciore, who was the character's credited voice actor for the film and previously played the part for Looney Tunes Cartoons. Cummings would later go on to reprise the roles of Fat Cat, Darkwing Duck, and Pete for the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers film, along with the right arm of Shredder from the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, and bootleg versions of Pooh and Tigger. Meanwhile, the role of Monterey Jack was played by Australian actor and comedian Eric Bana. Over a year after the film's release, Cummings reprised the role of King Triton for Lego Disney Princess: The Castle Quest, making his first appearance as the character since Ariel's Beginning. Months later, Cummings reprised the role of Winnie the Pooh for Disney's Once Upon a Studio to sing a portion of When You Wish Upon a Star, the short in question also featured him as the voice of Baloo from The Jungle Book for a similar purpose. Cummings was also involved in Disney Speedstorm. For the game, he voiced Steamboat Pete for the "To Infinity and Beyond" season, and he later made his third appearance as King Triton for the "Under the Sea" season.

Beginning on June 12, 2023, Cummings began hosting a podcast called Toon'd In!, which is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Spreaker. In the series, Cummings talks about the wide array of characters he voiced over the years, and various other voice artists guest star in episodes for interviews.

Personal life[edit]

Cummings has two daughters with his former wife Stephanie Jardon. The two were married from 2001 to 2011, when they divorced. In 2019, they became involved in an acrimonious custody dispute, which Cummings won.[15][16] Cummings also has two older daughters from a previous marriage.[17]

In an interview with the A.V. Club, Cummings commented that his prime voice acting influences are Mel Blanc, Paul Winchell, Paul Frees, June Foray, and Frank Welker. He particularly noted Blanc by classifying him as the "Frank Sinatra of voice acting", and Welker by calling him "The Beatles of voiceover".[18]

In a separate interview with Collider, Cummings stated that his favorite characters to play are Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Ray the Firefly, Drake Mallard/Darkwing Duck, and Hondo Ohnaka.[19]



Year Award Category Subject Result Ref.
1992 Annie Awards Best Voice Acting for Television Darkwing Duck Won [20][21]
1993 Goof Troop Won [22]
1995 Bump in the Night Nominated
2003 Best Voice Acting in a Feature Production The Jungle Book 2 Nominated
2011 Gnomeo & Juliet Nominated
2012 Zambezia Nominated
2009 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program My Friends Tigger & Pooh Nominated
2013 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Nominated


  1. ^ a b "About Toon'd In with Jim Cummings". YouTube.
  2. ^ "Cummings, Jim". Library of Congress. Archived from the original on December 1, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  3. ^ "Jim Cummings". behindthevoiceactors.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "Heard but not seen: Catholic voice actor leads an animated life -". The Catholic Review. July 24, 2009. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  5. ^ "Episode 17 with Guest: Jim Cummings". Rob Paulsen Live. October 14, 2011. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Davis, Sandi (February 11, 2005). "The voice of Pooh and Tigger too Disney keeps Jim Cummings busy with voice work". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on September 22, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "Becoming a character: An interview with Jim Cummings". WCYB. October 12, 2019. Archived from the original on July 3, 2022. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  8. ^ "Has Disney Been 'Lion' About Jeremy Irons' Singing Voice?". Huffington Post. September 19, 2011. Archived from the original on September 25, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  9. ^ Knowling, Doug (2016). Ecological Restoration: Wildfire Ecology Reference Manual. Knowling. ISBN 9780786486946. Archived from the original on September 25, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  10. ^ "Exclusive interview with Balto director Simon Wells". archive.org. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  11. ^ Mescobar, Aaron (May 27, 2018). "Chris O'Dowd Replaced As Tigger In 'Christopher Robin' By Original Voice Actor Jim Cummings". We are Geeks of Color. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  12. ^ Schaefer, Sandy (August 14, 2017). "Christopher Robin: Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore & More Possibly Cast". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  13. ^ Lawson, Richard (August 2, 2018). "There's an Oscar-Worthy Performance in Disney's Christopher Robin". Vanity Fair. New York City: Condé Nast. Archived from the original on October 25, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  14. ^ @Jimcummingsacme (March 5, 2021). "Game on! 🏀 And as Taz would say "@&*#&%!"@spacejammovie @KingJames @bauzilla" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Barcella, Laura (May 3, 2019). "'Winnie the Pooh' Voice Actor and Ex Wife Accuse Each Other of Abuse". People. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  16. ^ Bonomolo, Cameron (May 11, 2019). "Winnie the Pooh Voice Actor Jim Cummings Claims Victory Over Sexual Assault Allegations". Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  17. ^ Lindell, Karen (August 23, 2009). "At work, Jim Cummings is quite the characters". VC Star. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "Jim Cummings picks the 5 voice actors most influential to his career". The A.V. Club. January 8, 2019. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  19. ^ "Jim Cummings on Christopher Robin and Voicing Both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger". August 1, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  20. ^ "20th Annual Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  21. ^ "Annie Awards (1992)". IMDb. Archived from the original on April 21, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  22. ^ "Annie Awards (1993)". IMDb. Archived from the original on July 3, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2020.

External links[edit]