Mike Henry (voice actor)

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Mike Henry
Mike Henry by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Henry at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con
Michael Robert Henry

(1965-11-07) November 7, 1965 (age 56)
EducationCollegiate School
Washington and Lee University
  • Voice actor
  • director
  • writer
  • producer
Years active1989–present
Linda Murray
(m. 2002; div. 2005)

Sara Voelker
(m. 2007)

Michael Robert Henry[1] (born November 7, 1965)[2][3] is an American voice actor, director, writer and producer. He is known for his work on the animated TV series Family Guy (1999–present), where he writes and produces episodes along with voicing Cleveland Brown, Herbert, Bruce, Consuela, The Greased-Up Deaf Guy, among others. Henry is also known for co-creating and starring in the spin-off The Cleveland Show (2009–2013), where he voices Cleveland Brown, Rallo Tubbs, among others. He’s also known for his recurring role as Dann in the television series The Orville.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Henry was born in Pontiac, Michigan,[5] to artist parents and raised in Richmond, Virginia, with his younger brother Patrick. Their parents divorced when Henry was eight years old and the boys were primarily raised by their mother.[6] He was awarded a scholarship and attended the nearby preparatory Collegiate School.[6] Henry graduated from Washington and Lee University (1988) where he earned his B.A. in history and served as class president his sophomore-senior years. Although interested in comedy, Henry never believed he could make a career of it so instead opted for more “business stuff.”[7]


Early career[edit]

At 24, after a brief career in advertising, Henry moved to California to pursue acting. There he began taking classes at the Groundlings Theater and performing stand-up comedy.[8] After three years in Los Angeles, Henry returned to Virginia to shoot short comedy films that he wrote and acted in.[9] During that time, Henry often acted in his brother Patrick's student films at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he was introduced to his brother's college roommate, Seth MacFarlane.[6] Henry recalled in 2018, "We immediately hit it off and cracked each other up and kept in touch."[8]

Henry later moved to New York City where he acted in commercials, studied improvisation at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater[10] and wrote, produced, starred-in and co-directed (with his brother Patrick) comedy shorts for Lorne Michaels’ Burly Bear Network.[11]

Family Guy[edit]

Henry’s break came in 1998, when MacFarlane contacted him about being part of a new show called Family Guy. Mike agreed and joined the project as a writer and voice actor. Henry has stated that the inspiration for Cleveland's voice was based on "this guy that [he] had once played basketball with".[12] During the show's first four seasons, he was credited as a guest star, but beginning with season five's "Prick Up Your Ears" he has been credited as a main cast member.[13]

Two episodes into the second season, Family Guy was taken off the network's permanent schedule and shown irregularly thereafter. The show returned in March 2000 to finish airing the second season which contained 21 episodes; all the cast came back for the series return. During its second season, Fox publicly announced that the show had been cancelled.[14] Despite the announced cancellation, in 2001 Fox decided to make the third season.[15] During the third season, Fox announced that the show was canceled for good.[16][17] Soon after Family Guy was cancelled, Henry and his brother created the popular web series Kicked in the Nuts!, a spoof of hidden camera shows. Family Guy was renewed again in 2005 for its fourth season due to strong DVD sales and its syndication on basic cable networks.[18][19] Once again Henry and the rest of the cast came back for their voice works. In October 2017, Family Guy was renewed for its 16th season.[20]

Mike Henry 2018

On June 26, 2020, after twenty-one years of voicing the character, Henry announced on Twitter that he was stepping down from voicing Cleveland, stating "persons of color should play characters of color."[21][22] On September 25, 2020, it was announced that YouTube personality Arif Zahir, who is African-American, would replace Henry as Cleveland, but some episodes produced before Henry's departure from the role will still see Henry voicing the character.[23] Speaking to Henry, who would continue to do other voices for the show, Zahir, who is a longtime fan of both the character and the show said, "you created something truly special, and I promise I will do my absolute best to honor your legacy."[24] To the fans he said, "I promise not to let you down."[24] Currently, there has been no word on a potential recasting of Consuela, another character of color voiced by Henry on the series, leaving the future of her portrayal unclear.

The Cleveland Show[edit]

On September 27, 2009, The Cleveland Show premiered on Fox.[25] The project was created and executive-produced by Henry, Seth MacFarlane and American Dad! show runner Rich Appel. The show focused on the Family Guy character Cleveland Brown. Cleveland referenced the spin-off at the end of the Family Guy episode "Baby Not on Board".[26] The first season consisted of 22 episodes and was picked up by Fox for a second 13-episode season. The announcement was made on May 3, 2009 before the first season even premiered.[27] Due to strong ratings, Fox picked up two additional nine-episode seasons, bringing the total episode count of the show to 44. The show was renewed for a third and fourth season on May 9, 2011.[28] The series was canceled after its fourth season on May 19, 2013,[29] but reruns continue to air on Comedy Central in the United States and on Much in Canada. The series ran for a total of 4 seasons and 88 episodes.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Henry has been married to Sara Voelker since 2007.[6] Together they have a daughter, named Josie.[6] Henry also has a son, named Jack, from his first marriage to Linda Murray.[6] Henry and Voelker currently reside in Henrico, Virginia.



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story Cleveland Brown,
The Greased-Up Deaf Guy,
Fred Rogers, Various characters (voices)
Also co-producer
2012 Ted Southern Newscaster Cameo
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West Cowboy Cameo


Year Title Role Notes
1999–present Family Guy John Herbert,
The Greased-Up Deaf Guy, Various characters (voices)
Also co-producer, producer, supervising producer, story editor, executive story editor, consultant, and writer;
NominatedPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (2008)
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series (2009)
1999–2021 Cleveland Brown,
Rallo Tubbs
Stepped down from voicing these characters on June 26, 2020
2003 Kicked in the Nuts! Kicked in the Nuts Guy Also co-creator, producer, director, editor, and writer
2003–2006 Gilmore Girls Ed 4 episodes
2005–2010 Robot Chicken Various characters
4 episodes
2005–present American Dad! Jackson, Various characters
2007 Scrubs Urologist Episode: "My Point of No Return"
2007 Blue Harvest Cleveland Brown as R2-D2, Herbert as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Bruce as Greedo, Fouad as Impearial Officer, Various characters (voices) Television film
2009–2013 The Cleveland Show Cleveland Brown,
Rallo Tubbs, Various characters
88 episodes; Also co-creator, executive producer, and writer;
ASCAP Award for Top Television Series (2013)
Nominated–Teen Choice Award for Choice Animated Series (2010)
Nominated–Annie Award for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production (2011)
Nominated–Teen Choice Award for Choice Animated Series (2011)
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (2011)
2010 Something, Something, Something, Dark Side Cleveland Brown as R2-D2, Herbert as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Bruce as Captain Piett, Consuela,
Various characters (voices)
Television film
2010 Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III Yaddle (voice) Television special
2011 It's a Trap! Cleveland Brown as R2-D2, Herbert as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Rallo Tubbs as Nien Nunb, Consuela as Gatekeeper Droid,
Various characters (voices)
Television film
2011 Night of the Hurricane Cleveland Brown,
Rallo Tubbs,
Dwayne Meighan, Various characters
Television special
2017–present The Orville Dann


Year Title Role Notes
2008–2009 Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy Various characters (voices) 3 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
2006 Family Guy Video Game! Cleveland Brown,
The Greased-Up Deaf Guy,
Various characters (voices)
2012 Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse Cleveland Brown,
Various characters (voices)
2014 Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Cleveland Brown,
Rallo Tubbs,
Various characters (voices)


  1. ^ "Michael R. Henry". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  2. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (August 27, 2009). "Spinning Off Into Uncharted Cartoon Territory". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2020. Now a 43-year-old comedy producer and performer, Mr. Henry is…
  3. ^ Chung, Gabrielle (June 26, 2020). "Family Guy's Mike Henry Says He'll No Longer Voice Cleveland Brown Character". Retrieved June 29, 2020. Henry, 54… Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help) Note: Birthdate given as March 25, 1964, at "Mike Henry Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "Mike Henry of "Family Guy" talks voices, gags and instinct - Campus Times". Campus Times. 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  5. ^ "About". Mike Henry official website. Archived from the original on August 13, 2019. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Itzkoff, Dave (2009-08-27). "With 'The Cleveland Show,' Mike Henry Spins Off Into Uncharted Cartoon Territory". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  7. ^ "'Family Guy' voice actor visits University". PantherNOW. 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  8. ^ a b "Playing in 'Cleveland'". Backstage.com. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  9. ^ "Welcome Back, Cleveland". Style Weekly. Richmond, Virginia. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  10. ^ "Mike Henry (VI)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  11. ^ Burruss, Mary. "Voice of the People". Style Weekly. Richmond, Virginia. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  12. ^ "Mike Henry: The Origins of Cleveland and Herbert". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  13. ^ "Mike Henry of "Family Guy" talks voices, gags and instinct". Campus Times. September 11, 2008. Archived from the original on October 16, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  14. ^ Gilbert, Matthew (April 30, 2005). "Family Guy Returns, Just As Funny As Ever". Boston.com. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  15. ^ Levin, Gary (November 18, 2003). "Family Guy may return". USAtoday.com. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
  16. ^ "Family Guy has finally been officially canceled by Fox". TKtv. May 16, 2002. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  17. ^ McKinley, Jesse (May 2, 2005). "Canceled and Resurrected, on the Air and Onstage". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  18. ^ James, Meg (April 13, 2005). "Fox Reuniting Itself with Family Guy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  19. ^ Rosenthal, Phil (November 20, 2003). "Yet another Family reunion". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 53.
  20. ^ Levine, Daniel S. (2017-05-22). "'Family Guy' Renewed or Cancelled: Is it Coming Back for Season 16?". Heavy.com. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  21. ^ Haring, Bruce (June 26, 2020). "'Family Guy' Voice Actor Mike Henry Stepping Down From 'Cleveland Brown' Role". Deadline. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  22. ^ Otterson, Joe (June 26, 2020). "'Family Guy' Star Mike Henry Will No Longer Play Cleveland Brown". Variety. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  23. ^ Swift, Andy (September 25, 2020). "Family Guy Reveals New Actor Voicing Cleveland Brown in Season 19". TVLine. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Rose, Michelle. "Stars out: Liv Tyler leaves '9-1-1: Lone Star'". TV Media. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  25. ^ "FOX Announces Fall Premiere Dates For The 2009–2010 Season". The Futon Critic. June 15, 2009. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
  26. ^ "Baby Not On Board". Family Guy. Season 7. Episode 4. November 2, 2008. Fox.
  27. ^ "'Cleveland' rocks at Fox". Archived from the original on 2012-07-03.
  28. ^ "Breaking News - FOX Picks Up Third Season of "The Cleveland Show"" (Press release). Fox Broadcasting. Retrieved 2018-05-03 – via TheFutonCritic.com.
  29. ^ Hinckley, David. "Fox announces 2013-14 fall schedule, which includes return of Kiefer Sutherland's '24'". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  30. ^ "Fox Primetime – 'The Cleveland Show' – Fact Sheet" (Press release). Fox Broadcasting. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2009.

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