Nancy Cartwright has been the voice behind TV’s most iconic 10-year-old and now she’s helping to permanently cement his place in history in midtown.
On Friday, Fox will unveil a bronze bust created by Cartwright of Bart Simpsons outside the News Corp. building at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. The veteran voice actress, who will be on hand for the special event, said the statue is a testament to the writers, artists and the show’s other crew who made “The Simpsons,” the longest running scripted sitcom of all time.
“For me as an artist, I like to think that art can change the perspective of the viewer and gives hope,” she said in a phone interview. “To be a part of this ensemble… I treasure it.”
Cartwright, 57, said she grew up wanting to be a voice actor and had several roles on animated shows before she auditioned for Bart when “The Simpsons” was a short on the “Tracy Ullman Show” in 1987.
When the”The Simpsons” was turned into a full 30-minute show two years later, Cartwright said she knew the sitcom was going to be different since it aired in prime time but didn’t predict that it would be on for more than a quarter century.
The secret to the success is how the characters can mix the topical humor with poignant family story lines, according to Cartwright.
“‘The Simpsons’ has clearly done so much to contribute to bring people’s happiness,” she said. “If you’re down and not feeling so great, you can sit down for 22 minutes and feel better.”
Although Bart is known for his mischievous pranks and colorful vernacular, Cartwright said his moments of sincerity and loyalty to his family and friends are the character’s true colors. She said that has resonated characteristic has touched her and fans.
“When he says, ‘Mom, I love you,’ or ‘Dad, I love you,’ it makes it all right for a teenager to say that in real life,” she said.
Cartwright, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, said she plans on playing Bart for a long time and predicted that it might even outlast the statue.
“I’d love to come back and see it still there in 20 years,” she joked.