Peter Claver Cullen (born December 1, 1944) is a Canadian voice actor, known as the voice of Optimus Prime in the original Transformers series, as Eeyore in the Winnie-the-Pooh franchise and the narrator in both American Voltron series. Cullen reprised his role as Optimus Prime in Michael Bay's live-action Transformers film series and the newly released Transformers: War for Cybertron video game. He was once again cast as Optimus Prime for the new TV series, Transformers: Prime in 2010.
Cullen has three children: Clay, Claire, and Pilar E. Cullen; and three grandchildren.
In addition, he has played Coran, Stride the Tiger Fighter, and King Alfor in the Lion Voltron series, the transforming spaceship/robot Ramrod in the 1980s anime series Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, Commander James Hawkins in the Vehicle Voltron series, Eeyore in the Winnie-the-Pooh series, KARR in Knight Rider, Antor and Bomba, and Gunner, in Dino-Riders, Airbourne, Nemesis Enforcer and Zandar in G.I. Joe, Red Skull in the 1981 cartoon series of Spider-Man, Klaar and Zanzoar in Megas XLR and Mantus in The Pirates of Dark Water. In 1968, he appeared as 'Giles' with Joan Stuart as 'Penelope' in 'L'Anglaise', a CBC comedy about a French-Canadian husband with an English-Canadian wife (CBC's 'Funny You Should Say That'). He also performed a French-Canadian astronaut character named Bebe LaToque alongside Ted Zeigler for a 1969 children's show on CFCF-TV in Montreal. From 1967 to 1969, he was the announcer for Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
In the 1980s and the 1990s, Cullen appeared on a number of television shows, most of them for Hanna-Barbera. The shows included My Little Pony, Pound Puppies as Captain Slaughter, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Book of Pooh and My Friends Tigger & Pooh as Eeyore, Filmation's Ghostbusters, The Smurfs where he did additional voices, Dungeons & Dragons as Venger, Snorks, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry Kids Show, DuckTales, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Muppet Babies, Bonkers, The New Adventures of Captain Planet, Pac-Man as Sourpuss, The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda, Fantastic Max, Denver the Last Dinosaur, The Puppy's Further Adventures as Lucky, Monchichis, The Pink Panther and Sons, Foofur as Baby, The Gummi Bears as Karwin the Conqueror, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Challenge of the GoBots as Pincher, Spoiler and Tank, Rude Dog and the Dweebs as Herman and Winston, Rainbow Brite as Murky Dismal, The Biskitts as Scratch, Goldie Gold and Action Jack, Robotix, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers as the original voice of Monterey Jack, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, Widget the World Watcher, The New Yogi Bear Show as Ranger Roubideaux, Hagar the Horrible as Hagar, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, The Little Engine That Could as Pete, the powerful freight engine, Voltron: Defender of the Universe, TaleSpin, Dragon's Lair as Bertram, Immortal Grand Prix, The Addams Family, The Adventures of the Little Prince as Munsil, Mighty Man and Yukk as Mighty Man, Garfield and Friends, The Further Adventures of SuperTed, Vytor: The Starfire Champion, Timeless Tales from Hallmark, Darkwing Duck, The New Adventures of Jonny Quest, The Little Rascals as Police Officer Ed, The Flintstone Kids, Crazy Claws, Lucky Luke, Rockin' with Judy Jetson, Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats, BraveStarr, The Jetsons, The Kwicky Koala Show, Galtar and the Golden Lance, The Dukes, Rambo as Sgt. Havoc, Paddington Bear, The All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, Paw Paws, Gravedale High, Foofur, Super Friends, Sectaurs as Mantor, Skito and Toxid, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians as Felix Faust and Droopy, Master Detective. He also had a voice part in Gremlins as a gremlin and in both the first season of the Original Knight Rider Series and the first season of the 2008 Knight Rider Series as KARR. He also did voicework in The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible series, notably as the king of Nineveh in the Jonah episode. He played the evil sorcerer Renwick in the lesser known series Little Wizards and played Cindarr in the short-lived series Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light.
Among many other television shows and movies, he has also lent his basso voice to many movie trailers and television commercials, including announcing for the blocks Toonami and You Are Here on the Cartoon Network. Cullen spent some of his early professional years in Montreal as a radio announcer/DJ on CKGM; and as a character in a then-popular local television kids show. He acted the role of a French-Canadian astronaut, along with writer and his partner on the show, Ted Ziegler. Both Ziegler and Cullen were spotted in the credits and doing small cameo walk-ons in various comedic roles on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, as well as other network comedies of the era.
He also voiced Nintendo's mascot Mario in the Donkey Kong segments on Saturday Supercade, making him the first person to ever provide a voice for the character. And he also voiced Lanky Kong in Donkey Kong 64.
Cullen has also done voicework on drum and bass DJ Dieselboy's 2004 album, The Dungeonmaster's Guide. He also did voicework for the unreleased Blizzard Entertainment game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans, and provided narration for the Star Wars fan film I.M.P.S.: The Relentless.
Cullen reprised the role of Optimus Prime in the 2007 Transformers live-action movie, and its sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He himself originally had a short cameo in Revenge of the Fallen, but this was eventually removed from the final cut. He is signed on for the third movie in the franchise. Jess Harnell was cast to voice Ironhide, who Cullen voiced in the original series. Cullen was offered the chance to reprise Optimus in an episode of Robot Chicken, but refused, as he took the role too seriously to make fun of it, which the crew respected enough to accept his rejection. He has stated that out of all the voice roles he has done, Optimus is his favorite.
In interviews, he has said that he had no idea of Optimus' popularity until the character's controversial death in the 1986 animated film, as the studio had never given him fan letters from children addressed to Optimus. The public backlash over Optimus' death surprised producers greatly. Children were leaving the theaters because of the character's death. The writers temporarily revived the character for a single episode in Season 3 called "Dark Awakening". Initially, this was intended to be his final appearance, but after fan requests continued, the "Return Of Optimus Prime", a two-part episode was produced. The original ending of "Dark Awakening" was altered in reruns to include a teaser about the return of the character.
Stop Motions Voice ActingEdit
Cullen Voice Was Used in Many Stop Motion Projects Most of then were with Optimus Prime