"The beauty of voice-over work is that you can never be typecast." -Mary Kay Bergman
When it comes to voice actors, few could lay claim to have contributed so many characters to so many successful franchises as Mary Kay Bergman did. She lent her vocals to cartoon characters in original run and revival television series' such as The Fantastic Four, Family Dog, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Family Guy, Spider Man (voicing Gwen Stacy in the final episode of the 90s cartoon), Zorro, Goosebumps, Extreme Ghostbusters, Felix the Cat, The Fantastic Four, Scooby Doo (in which she played Daphne Blake in four different works), The Little Mermaid (played Arista in the TV spinoff), The Fairly Oddparents, Alvin and the Chipmunks and perhaps most notably, all of the female characters on South Park.
Aside from her high profile television work, Bergman appeared in some of the most celebrated animated films of the past decade. She played the role of Bimbette and sang vocal parts for Beauty and the Beast, which is still the only animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. She also played numerous characters in the Disney retelling of Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well as Mulan, Toy Story 2, The Iron Giant and her personal favorite role, the title character and various other characters in an installment of the Jay Jay the Jet Plane children's film series.
During her illustrious career, Bergman taught animation and commercial voice-overs for 6 years, something she enjoyed, but once her fame skyrocketed with South Park, she found herself with little time to teach anymore. Yet she was quite educated herself, and always did extensive character research, some recalling how she spent late nights working on lines and reviewing storyboards to get characters down pat.
In late-1999, Bergman was seemingly at the height of her career. She was actively working, had just finished her work on "Jay Jay the Jet Plane" and was nominated for an Annie Award (the Oscars of animation) for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for her work on South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut opposite talent such as Minnie Driver and Ralph Fiennes. She also had co-founded a film production company with her husband of nine years, Dino Andrade. The company was called Klaxon Filmworks and they were planning the release of their first film Bob's Video. The film marked Bergman's only live action performance on film and she also served as a still photographer and executive producer.
Yet, Mary Kay Bergman's life came to a tragic end on November 11th, 1999 when in a very shocking move, she took her own life with a gunshot to the head.
Always the hard worker, Bergman had her final eight performances released posthumously. These works included a South Park Christmas video, a sequel to the 1955 Disney classic Lady and the Tramp and the only film to ever be released by Klaxon Filmworks, Bob's Video, which caught acclaim at the Blue Sky Film Festival in Las Vegas and the HBO Urban World Film Festival in Manhattan.
Bergman had struggled with depression her entire life, although few knew about it until after she had taken her own life. In hopes to help those with depression, Bergman's widower husband formed a fund in her name at The Suicide Prevention Center in Culver City, California.
Bergman voiced a countless number of characters in over sixty films and television programs in a career that spanned over twenty years. And while Mary Kay Bergman was a star in a field in which stars don't get very much recognition, she was regardless, a star.