Top 10 Female Voice Actors Playing Male Roles

Women who voice animated characters who are of a different gender have a very difficult job. They have to get the boyish personality down just right, they have to actually have to sound like a boy, all while maintaining their usual acting abilities. There is a craft to it, and it can test even the best actress' acting abilities.They are all in a league of their own, and deserve to have their own category. My criteria for this list judged on these ladies' acting abilities, their abilities to convey a boyish personality, and of course actually sounding like a realistic boy. Please note: I am not judging based on my favorite characters or shows. I am merely judging based on how these actresses sound in a young boy voice role. Honorable Mentions Debi Derryberry: The voice of Zach Bell and Jimmy Neutron. She had an amazing ability to convey the charm that her colorful characters had, even though they were all boys! Sarah Strange: Even though her list of voice credits may be small, she gave a very amazing performance as the voice of the boy Ranma in Ranma 1/2. You forgot that it was a woman you were hearing, and not a fully grown teen! Laura Bailey: Shin-chan Nohara himself! Even though she was playing a young boy, she was able to make you love little Shin-chan! She was also HILARIOUS! Easily the highlight of her entire career! Her other boy roles include Dende and Trunks in Dragon Ball Z. June Foray: Her only notable male roles are all very memorable. Rocky the Flying Squirrel is probably the best example of her talent playing young boys. Even though she never had to deepen her voice to play him, she still sounded like a convincing young boy. She also gave him a bold personality, and you forget you are actually hearing a woman's voice. Stephanie Nadolny: Stephanie's most memorable role is that of young Goku in Dragon Ball. She really gave him personality and made you love little Goku! She executed his lines well, and gave Goku tons of personality. One of my favorite anime performances. Maile Flanagan: Maile is the voice of Naruto. The performance she gives is just outstanding. She makes him sound like a realistic boy, and puts a lot of personality and emotion into her performance! She deserved her Emmy!
Now on to the top 10 Female VAs playing Males!
By PurpleWarrior13 on Fri May 21 2010, 21 Comments, Add Comment


Elizabeth Daily

Iconic Role: Tommy Pickles

Elizabeth Daily voiced one of the most well known babies to ever hit the small screen: Tommy Pickles, the lead character of Rugrats. Without her, Tommy wouldn't sound as lovable as he is! She added a special charm to the role and really tied the show together. She really brought Tommy to life, both as a baby, and as a pre-teen, even though the voice she gave him wasn't very different from her Buttercup voice. Her other boy roles include Babe in "Babe: A Pig in the City" and as the singing voice of Jake in "Two and a Half Men".

Brina Palancia

Iconic Role: Private 2nd Class Tamama

Brina Palencia's cutsie young boy roles are always fun to listen to. Her best performed male role is probably Tamama in Sgt. Frog. She nailed the cute little frogie's personality like a hammer hitting a nail! She had charm, she had depth, and best of all, she was very funny! Her other boy roles include Tony Tony Chopper in One Piece and Puar and Chiaotzu in Dragon Ball Z - Kai! She makes them all sound cute, lovable, but she also puts personality and some emotion into her performance.

Barbara Goodson

Iconic Role: Naota Nandaba

Barbara Goodson is great at sounding like a realistic boy. At the same time, her acting abilities are flat out perfect. She can easily understand her characters, and puts just the right charm, emotion, and personality into her characters. And we all know Naota in Fooly Cooly is a very hard character to play. But even so, she was brilliant in the role. Her other young boy roles include Zero (Goku) in the Harmony Gold dub of Dragon Ball, Takashi in Akira, and countless others! What's amazing is, she's been voicing characters for over 30 years, and she's still able to play a wide variety of characters from young boys, to old ladies, to mothers, to witches, and even young girls!

Colleen Clinkenbeard

Iconic Role: Monkey D. Luffy

Colleen Clinkenbeard is just unstoppable! When she's not playing her role of Luffy in One Piece, she's playing a sexy woman, or a young girl! Not only is she outstanding as older teenagers such as Luffy, she's great in realistic sounding babies, as well as young boys. Right now, she's voicing Gohan in Dragon Ball Z - Kai, a role that is the lead of one of the most popular animated shows of all time! Her other iconic roles include Rachael Moore in Case Closed, Maso and Hima in Crayon Shin-chan, Riza in Fullmetal Alchemist, Eclair in Kiddy Grade, Rin in Rin, Beet in Beet the Vandal Buster, Goku in Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies, and before Gohan, she was the voice of Princess Snake and Zangya in the original Dragon Ball Z. In addition, she's also the current voice of Agent Mai in Dragon Ball. But her most memorable roles are arguable her young boy roles such as Luffy!

Veronica Taylor

Iconic Role: Ash Ketchum

Veronica Taylor had the wonderful privilege of voicing one of, if not THE most iconic animated young boy role ever: Ash Ketchum. And she was his voice during the show's heyday. In this giant role of hers, she gave Ash so much emotion, and depth. I never knew it was a woman voicing him until years later! It sounded almost exactly like a real young boy! Even now when I watch the earlier episodes of Pokemon, I forget it's a woman voicing him! But she's also great in all her young girl roles as well! Those include Delia Ketchum and May in Pokemon, Amelia in Slayers, April in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nico Robin in One Piece, Scarlet in G. I. Joe, and countless others! Her other young boy roles include others such as Max Taylor in Dinosaur King, and the younger Sanji in One Piece!

Pamela Segall Aldon

Iconic Role: Bobby Hill

Pamela Segall Aldon is perhaps most well known as the voice of little Bobby Hill in King of the Hill. My parents are big watchers of the show, and they couldn't believe it when I told them that it was a woman playing him! Seriously, she sounded just like a little boy from Texas! She not only got the personality down just right, but she also created the iconic character, but she really really brought him to life! Her other boy roles include Otto in Time Squad, Andy in Squirrel Boy, Ket in Kiki's Delivery Service, and many many other young boy roles!

Kath Soucie

Iconic Role: Phil Deville

Soucie has an amazing talent for voicing a huge variety of characters, including young boys! Arguably her most memorable boy role is Phil Deville in Rugrats (at least, that's what comes to mind), but she also voiced his twin sister Lil, and their mother Betty, all of which have very different voices! Some of her many other roles include Dexter's Mom, Agent Honeydew and Lele in Dexter's Laboratory, Princess Sally from Sonic the Hedgehog, Kiki's Mom in Kiki's Delivery Service, Shin-chan Nohara in the original dub of Shin-chan, Bubbles in the first 2 episodes of the Powerpuff Girls, and many, many, many, many others!

Nancy Cartwright

Iconic Role: Bart Simpson

Bart Simpson is by far one of the most, if not THE most iconic cartoon character of the past two decades, and Nancy Cartwright was the one who brought him to life! She makes you forget that he is actually voiced by a woman. She also makes Bart hilariously funny, and makes him a multi-dimensional character! Hello! This is Bart Simpson we are talking about! It's a role that won her an Emmy! However, another big role of hers is the second voice of Chuckie Finster in Rugrats. She was also the voice of Lou in Mike, Lou, and Og!

Tara Charendoff Strong

Iconic Role: Timmy Turner

Tara Strong has been voice acting for over two decades, and she has always been a great talent! Her roles such as Dill Pickles in Rugrats, Timmy Turner in Fairly Odd Parents, the younger Yoh in Shaman King, and more recently, the first voice of Ben Tennyson in the hit show Ben 10. Her other roles include Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls, Raven in Teen Titans, the singing voice of Meg Griffin in Family Guy, and countless other roles in several hundred different cartoons. Her young boys not only sound like real boys, but they also sound very boyish in personality. Her young girls such as Bubbles sound very girly, and characters such as Raven sound very dark and lonely. Yup! Tara Strong is truly unstoppable!

Christine Cavanaugh

Iconic Role: Babe

Christine Cavanaugh is one of the greatest voice actresses of all time. She is probably best known for being the voice of Babe in the 1995 film, "Babe - The Gallant Pig", which earned her instant exposure in the voice acting world. It's unusual for a woman to voice a lead male role in a theatrical film, as they often go to real young boys. Christine can not only play young boy roles, she can even play OLD MAN voice roles, and her voice is not even that deep! She played Chuckie Finster for over ten years in the classic cartoon, Rugrats. She also was the original voice of Dexter in Dexter's Laboratory (she also the voice of Teenage Dexter, Old Man Dexter, and Dexter's Grandpa). Her other roles include Bunnie Rabot in Sonic the Hedgehog, Powerpuff Bunny in The Powerpuff Girls, and played Birdie in McDonalds commercials. Gone but not forgotten, Christine Cavanaugh will always be remembered as one of the great voice actors of the '90s or maybe forever!


Add a Comment

said at 10:08 AM on Thu Mar 21 2013
Going down the list each voice surpised me and each one I thought was surely supposed to be #1, now that I've reached the end, yeah you're probably right, particularly the top 3 spots
BlueSky (Top Moderator)
said at 9:18 AM on Fri Sep 28 2012
Kath Soucie gets my vote. Some of my favourite male voices she does are Cubert (Futurama), Rolly (101 Dalmatians), Blake (As Told by Ginger), Little Sneezer (Tiny Toon Adventures), Butch (Recess), Ray Ray (Juniper Lee) and Lucien (Cramp Twins).

I know she is not on this list, but Russi Taylor deserves a mention too, she did great as Huey, Dewey and Louie, Martin Prince, Baby Gonzo and Widget the World Watcher.
said at 8:13 PM on Tue Sep 18 2012
Tara Strong is a female powehouse of just voices in general honestly only thing that could stop her is herself.
said at 8:00 PM on Sun Feb 5 2012
Poor June Foray booted out again, just like casting in the smurfs movie.
OptimusSolo (Admin)
said at 12:10 PM on Fri Feb 10 2012

I agree June Foray deserves a spot somewhere.
said at 12:06 PM on Mon Jul 16 2012
@henpeckedrooster1944 I listed her in the introduction. Don't get me wrong. I love June Foray (she's my favorite VA!), but she's not exactly known for voicing male roles other than Rocky. This list is for women who are most known for doing it.
said at 11:04 PM on Sat Aug 18 2012
@PurpleWarrior13 What about Susan Blu? She's done quit a few male roles.
said at 11:00 PM on Sat Jul 2 2011
All these women are fantastic VAs! It's very hard to choose just one from this list. In the end, I think I'll agree with the majority here and give this one to Tara, but everyone else did excellent work.

For a couple of VAs who aren't on the list, I also really like Debi Derryberry. Her performances as both Zatch Bell and Jimmy Neutron are definitely two of the most memorable female VA/boy roles of the 201st decade. And although she does have a very unfair advantage over everyone else here, I think Maddie was amazing. Her roles in Pokemon are ones you just can't forget, and it's heartbreaking news that she died so soon...she will always be remembered, and may she RIP.
said at 5:05 AM on Tue Jun 7 2011
Tails the Fox, Charmy Bee and Omochao are sonic characters who are male but voiced by a woman
NCZ (Admin)
said at 9:22 AM on Tue Jun 7 2011
@enerjak Yes, but none of them are nearly as good as the people on this list.
said at 11:08 PM on Sat Jul 2 2011
@NCZ Well, I think that Amy Birnbaum deserves to be an honorable mention too. Her performances as Max from Pokemon and Charmy from the Sonic series were two of the best 4Kids roles!

While we're on this subject, a lot of these women here would be fantastic choices to voice Sonic himself.
said at 4:17 PM on Sun Jul 4 2010
I've never really heard too much of Mona Marshall's work. I only put people up that I'm familier with.
said at 11:03 PM on Sat Jul 2 2011
@PurpleWarrior13 That's a real shame. I think she deserves at least some room for an honorable mention here. Her voice for Shu from Blue Dragon and Inari from Naruto were boyish enough for most to forget that it's a woman doing those voices!
said at 2:24 AM on Sun Jun 20 2010
Maddie Blaustein was indeed a legend, but she was a transexual, meaning that her voice was technically already a masculine voice. That would give her an unfair advantage to these women who all have feminine voices.
OptimusSolo (Admin)
said at 12:17 PM on Sun May 23 2010
You are just saying that because you are a Tara Strong fanboy and interviewed her...I'm just playing Mike, always good to see your comments/opinions!!
said at 6:04 PM on Fri May 21 2010
I'd switch the number 1 and 2 slots...... Tara Strong is easily #1.
Foxwolf (Admin)
said at 5:57 PM on Fri May 21 2010
i'm not really familiar with all these VA's but I've been a huge fan of Tara Strong for a long while, so I would've put her number one. Also a Laura Bailey fan.
Jackson_H (Admin)
said at 4:00 PM on Fri May 21 2010
Great list! I may have ranked some higher and others lower but most my picks if I did a list would be the same as yours. :)
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Which do you think should be in the #1 spot?
Christine Cavanaugh
Tara Strong
Nancy Cartwright
Kath Soucie
Pamela Segall Aldon
Veronica Taylor
Colleen Clinkenbeard
Barbara Goodson
Brina Palancia
Elizabeth Daily
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