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Pokémon: Professor Oak voice actor to retire following cancer diagnosis

Pokémon: Professor Oak voice actor to retire following cancer diagnosis

Iconic Pokémon anime voice actor James Carter Cathcart has announced his retirement as he continues to undergo cancer treatment.

James Carter Cathcart, an American voice actor and script adaptor best known for his work on the Pokémon anime series, has confirmed that he’ll be retiring as he continues to receive treatment for “an advanced cancer”.

Cathcart has provided the English voice for Gary Oak ever since the Pokémon anime first began in 1998, as well as the voices for Professor Oak, Team Rocket’s Meowth and James since 2006 (during Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the special episode, 'The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon').

As Nintendo Life reports, posts on Cathcart’s CaringBridge site confirm that he was diagnosed “in late January 2023 with an advanced cancer that appears to have started at the base of his tongue”, which has “spread into both sides of his tongue and also some lymph glands in his neck”. A new update posted to the site on 17 April has confirmed that the voice actor is still undergoing treatment, but has made the decision to retire from his roles in the anime series.

“On Easter Monday (10 April), we learned that Jimmy's tumours didn't respond to the induction chemotherapy as much as was anticipated, and that a more aggressive chemo approach was necessary,” the latest post reads. “This is leading back to the previously rejected first-line of chemo drugs. Our hope is now that he will be among the 80%-plus who do not experience long-lasting tinnitus and hand/finger neuropathy from the medication.”

The post continues: “Jimmy has decided to retire from script adapting and voice dubbing for Pokémon USA, effective at the conclusion of Season 25. He has been with the series since the first episode, so it is a timely decision as the series transitions to new characters and storylines.”

It concludes: “We remain eternally grateful for your love, thoughts, comments, ‘hearts’, prayers, and well-wishes.”

Featured Image Credit: The Pokémon Company

Topics: Pokemon, TV And Film, Anime, no article matching