Harry Shearer is returning to The Simpsons after all

The 72-year-old voice actor, who is responsible for Mr Burns, Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner, is back on board after quitting the show over contract disputes earlier this year

Harry Shearer is back on board The Simpsons. Despite being one of the show’s key cast members, the actor appeared to quit earlier this year following a disagreement over “the freedom to do other work” during contract negotiations for seasons 27 and 28. Now he’s signed a new deal to return.


And it’s a good job, too. The 71-year-old actor – who has starred in the animated comedy since its inception in 1989 – voices a number of iconic characters including Mr Burns, Ned Flanders, Smithers and Principal Skinner. And with countless other residents reliant on his vocal chords, Springfield wouldn’t have sounded the same without him. 

The animation’s showrunner Al Jean, who previously said he would find new actors to voice the characters, took to Twitter to confirm Shearer’s change of heart, saying “I am truly glad he is returning to the show.”

While Shearer himself tweeted to thank the show’s fans for their unwavering support:

Shearer has now reportedly signed the same four-season contract as the other main voice cast Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Hank Azaria, meaning Mr Burns and co will be around for a while yet. 


The Simpsons’ 27th season airs later this year

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The voice of Mr Burns, Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner quits The Simpsons

The Simpsons’ Harry Shearer ‘is not irreplaceable’ says showrunner Al Jean