Inside the bizarre lives of The Simpsons stars

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

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

But what about the stars who voice the much-loved characters?

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

“I’m 57 now…My preference was bulimia,” Yeardly told the Allison interviews podcasting.

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 the third time she got 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 reportedly amassed a fortune of $122 million, is not the only cast member to have endured mixed fortunes in her personal life.

Here we look at the turbulent times that have struck The Simpsons form.

Nancy Cartwright, Bart Simpson

Bart may be the most famous cartoon boy of them all, but he is voiced by a woman, American actress Nancy Cartwright.

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

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

The loss almost changed her moving plans, but eventually she persevered.

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

They had two children, but divorced in 2002.

Raised as a Catholic, she changed her religion in 1991 and joined the Church of Scientology.

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

Cartwright was caught up in a scandal when her construction worker fiancé Stephen Brackett committed suicide in May 2009.

Then, TMZ reported that she was engaged in a $374,000 legal battle. Brackett’s construction company was reportedly hired to refurbish a restaurant and had insurance with the American Safety Casualty Insurance Company (ASCIC).

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

ASCIC claimed that Stephen was only doing part of the work and “circulating contract funds” to the Church of Scientology.

He then committed suicide and his company went bankrupt when the work was only half done. According to TMZASCIC then sued Cartwright.

Julie Kavner, Marge Simpson

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

The American actress, 71, refuses to be photographed at work or outdoors when she can handle it.

In fact, she doesn’t like to invite people into her house, to… New York Times: “I’ve had friends for years who have never seen my house.”

Kavner, who reportedly has a net worth of $122 million, revealed that she didn’t enjoy her high school days and was a bit of a loner during her studies.

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

“Julie likes to pretend and observe,” said Nora Kavner. “Acting is an opportunity for her to become a different person. She goes incognito and emerges as someone else.”

Despite being very private, her partner is known to be the retired producer David Davis and the couple have been together since 1976.

Dan Castellaneta, Homer Simpson

Compared to his co-stars, Dan Castellaneta has had it easy in his private life when he wasn’t playing the grumpy dad Homer.

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

His original plan was to become a teacher when he grew up, and he started his way there before realizing that his calling was drama.

Castellaneta was hired to play Homer from the start of the show and went through a few votes before settling for the one viewers love now. When he’s not playing the animated character, his voice sounds very different.

In 1987, he married actress Deb Lacusta and the couple is still together.

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

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

In the voice of the iconic character, Castellaneta asked, “If there is no God, who has mocked and mocked me every day?”

Krassner was eager to use the clip on his album, but Fox declined, 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 in The Simpsons, but is best known as the voice of grumpy bartender Moe.

The American actor, who also happens to be the wealthiest of the cast with reportedly $130 million in the bank, admits his obsession with acting from the age of 16 came at the expense of his academic studies, but thankfully it paid off.

He has been married twice; his first for American actress Helen Hunt broke down after just a year, and the couple divorced after a six-month separation.

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

He came under fire in April of this year for his voice work as shop owner Apu. Azaria played the character for over 30 years, during which time Apu was criticized for enforcing racial stereotypes.

Apologies to Dax Shepherd’s armchair expert podcast, the actor said: “I apologize. I know you didn’t ask for that, but it’s important.

“I apologize for my part in creating it and participating in it. Part of me feels I have to go to every Indian person in this country to apologize.”

He added: “I really didn’t know any better. I haven’t thought about it. I didn’t know how much relative advantage I’d gotten in this country as a white boy from Queens.

“Just because there were good intentions doesn’t mean there weren’t real negative impacts on the cause I’m responsible for.”

Harry Shearer, Mr Burns and Ned Flanders

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

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

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

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

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

The couple owns a music label Zucchini Records and divides 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 great unrest, which he directed. It charted the failures that led to New Orleans being devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Prior to the DVD release, he toured America, attending screenings and answering questions from audience members.

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

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