James Carter, the legendary voice actor known for his work on several iconic characters in the Pokémon franchise such as Professor Oak, James, and Meowth of Team Rocket, has decided to retire from voice acting and script adapting due to throat cancer.
The unfortunate news was first shared on Carter's Caring Bridge page. In late January 2023, the voice actor was diagnosed with advanced throat cancer, which was initially thought to be treatable. Carter was supposed to undergo chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. However, in the recent update posted on April 17, the cancer has become more aggressive, leading to more severe treatment plans.
Following the treatment, Carter will retire from his career as a voice actor at the end of Season 25 of the Pokémon anime series. His partner, Martha Jacobi, has also resigned from her job to provide better support to Carter during this difficult time. In the update, Jacobi expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love, thoughts, comments, prayers, and well-wishes from fans.
James Carter's Anime Roles
Carter's first voice-over role for anime came in 1996 when he voiced Exanon in Gall Force. He worked in Here Is Greenwood, The Slayers and Revolutionary Girl Utena before landing a gig in Pokémon, voicing Professor Oak, his grandson Gary Oak, James and Meowth in Team Rocket and various other Pokémon. His career as an anime voice actor is extensive, as he has voiced Weevil Underwood in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Vector the Crocodile in Sonic X, Sir Gallant in Kirby: Right Back at Ya! and Butchie in the 4Kids English dub of One Piece. Carter also voice acted in video games, including Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Pokémon Ends Ash and Pikachu's Journey
Season 25 of Pokémon, known as Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The series premiered in the United States on October 21, 2022. This season was especially poignant because it represented Ash and Pikachu's final adventures as the renowned anime franchise's main characters. Fans have another reason to be emotional about the end of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, with Carter's retirement set for the end of Season 25, closing the chapter on a 25-year-long voice-acting career in the brand.
Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series is available to stream on Netflix.
Source: Caring Bridge