Rubber-faced comic actor and vocal artist extraordinaire Hank Azaria initially plied his trade on the stand-up circuit, then subsequently landed stage appearances and tackled bit parts on television. Azaria scored his breakthrough in 1989 when he began providing a multitude of voices for the Fox network's groundbreaking animated series The Simpsons, an assignment that imparted the performer with an enviable degree of cult stardom. In 1991, Azaria nabbed a major role in the Fox live-action sitcom Herman's Head, which ran until 1994 and gave audiences a glimpse of the man responsible for the vocal intonations of some of the most famous characters to ever corrupt an animator's storyboard.
A native of Queens, NY, where he was born into a family of Sephardic Jews on April 25, 1964, Azaria commenced film roles in the late 1980s, coincident with his Simpsons stardom. Work on that program (which, after graduating from a series of crude sketches on The Tracey Ullmann Show to its own animated sitcom, quickly shot up to qualify as the Fox network's most popular enterprise) easily outstripped Azaria's screen work in popularity and visibility for many years. Recurring parts included Indian convenience store owner Apu, quack doctor Nick Riviera, dim-witted bartender Moe, and the idiotic, pig-nosed Springfield Chief of Police, Clancy Wiggum.