List of Queen of the Willis cast members
Queen of the Willis is an American animated sitcom that features five main voice actors, and numerous regular cast and recurring guest stars. The principal voice cast consists of show creator Ava Zinn, Karly Jameson (who replaced Holly Everman after the sixth season [Everman died on May 23, 2017]), Kendra Ray (who replaced Alexis Arquette after the sixth season [Arquette died on September 11, 2016]), Rachael Passalt (who replaced Candis Cayne after the fifth season [Cayne's last episode is "Quillsville Cold Case," now marketed as the two-hour movie of season five finale]), and Alexandra Moffitt. Since the seventh season, Andrea Coolranch, Jacqui Fountaine, Cathryn Swaringen ,Donna Doogan, Tim Doogan, and Maribel Mort.
Recurring voice actors include Lee Kelso, Bob Donaldson, Diane Willis, Angela Ganote, Jenna Kooi, Scott Jones, Kylie Dwyar, Sophia Blanca, Breeanna Sorensen and Melvin Runecraft, and repeat guest stars include Barbara Hobbs, David Caruso, Vivica Fox, Kathryn Morris and Alisan Porter.
Many cast members provide voices for multiple characters. The voice actors, in portraying the various character personalities on the show, draw inspiration from celebrities and pop culture. Queen of the Willis characters have been played by more than one actor, after members of the show left the series or had conflicting obligations.
From seasons 1 to 6, Queen of the Willis had four main cast members. Since season 7, there have been 9 main cast members.
Ava Zinn voices six of the show's main characters: Ava Willis, Ron Willis, Tabby Willis, Shushu Willis, Heather Willis Ron Willis, Brian Willis and neighbour Anna Pamhouser. Zinn chose to voice these characters herself, believing it would be easier to portray the voices she had already envisioned than for someone else to attempt it. Zinn drew inspiration for the voice of Ava from several teachers she overheard talking while attending R.J. Baskett Middle School and Mississinewa High School. Tabby's voice prior to her sex change was based on the voice Craig Ferguson, and as a female, her voice is based on the voice of Caroline Flack, especially her performance on the twelfth season of Strictly Come Dancing while Zinn was the host and moderator of the British version of Vote for the Girls. Shushu's voice was based on the voices of Tana Ramsay, especially her appearances on Hell's Kitchen, as well as Cat Deeley and Zinn's late cousin, Carol Jones, who was gay. Zinn has stated that her inspiration for the Shushu character was based on Garfield the cat character created by fellow Hoosier Jim Davis.. Zinn uses her own voice while portraying Heather.
Zinn also provides the voices for various other recurring and one-time only characters, most prominently those of news anchor Zach Mullins, Ava's mother Peggy Willis, Angie's stepfather Ned Shanks and Dr. Coxson.. She is the only voice to be in every episode.
Karly Jameson currently voices Angie Willis, Fox 11/CBS 40 correspondent Loretta Brill, Jennifer McDavid and Angie's mother Lisa Shanks. Jameson was asked to provide a voice for the pilot while she was a radio personality, but the role went to Holly Everman. Jameson had not met Zinn or seen any of her artwork and said it was "really sight unseen". At the time, Jameson performed in a stage show in Chicago, in which she played a brunette mother whose voice she had based on one of her cousins. Jameson's voice for Angie was originally slower (and deeper for the original season) compared to Everman's, but when Zinn heard both Everman and Jammeson's voices, she replied "Make it a little less fucking annoying ... and speed it up, or every episode will last six hours."
After the death of Angie Willis' original voice actress, Everman stated on her will that Karly Jameson shall provide the voice of Angie Willis on Queen of the Willis if the show were to return.
Kendra Ray voices neighbour Melissa Rose. Initially Alexis Arquette won the role after initial auditions in 2006. After Arquette's death in 2016, Kendra Ray won the role after a slight rewrite of the character, in part due to her performance on Vote for the Girls USA. Zinn called Ray after NoSirGifts announced Queen of the Willis was returning to television and called her back after her first audition in 2004 (as Kevin Ray), instructing her to speak slower, and then told her to come back another time and enunciate more. Once she claimed that she had it under control, Zinn hired her. ray described her character as "the Conspirator". She further explained, "Melissa gets picked on by Ava a lot. But it's funny. It's like the crazy neighbor. She is constantly in the state of being an awkward 40-year-old, when you're kind of going through the mid-life crisis and what-not. She's just in a perpetual mode of humiliation. And it's fun."
Rachael Passalt primarily plays Deanna Willis and Trevelle Abhrams. Passalt stated that she did an impression of the Darlene Conner character from the sitcom Roseanne during her initial audition (then as Raymond Passalt) in 2003. Her main inspiration for Deanna's voice came from envisioning how "Darlene Conner" would sound if she were speaking through a public address system at the University of Minnesota, Passalt's college alma matter.
Alexandra Moffitt was the voice of Stuart Willis, Tiffani Donovan, Tina Kelso, Ava's co-workers at Craven Gifts, and various other characters. A Queen of the Willis writer and producer, she began acting on the show as part of the recurring cast repertory (see below) but was promoted to main cast member in 2019. She served in this role until her death on November 29, 2020.
In addition to both its main cast and guest stars, Queen of the Willis utilizes a deep bench of regularly appearing supporting voice actors. Some appear in nearly every episode each season, while others appear less frequently. Some of these actors specifically play recurring characters, while others mainly play background citizens of Quillsville or characters.
The current supporting cast repertory includes the following actors:
|Actor||Character(s)|| No. of Episodes
(Out of ______ produced)
|Frank Davidson||Pre-transition Ava Willis and Various men||??||Since 2009.|
|Eric Halvorson||Principal Eric Halvorson||??|
|Melvin Runecraft||Evil Ava and Various older men||??||Since 2006. Currently voices most male “extras” not voiced by Ava Zinn or Phil Allen.|
In addition to the above, the following actors were formerly regularly recurring voice actors in the series:
|Actor||Character(s)||No. of Episodes||Notes|
|Alexis Arquette||Rose, MelissaMelissa Rose||156||Played Melissa Rose for the first six seasons. Died on September 11, 2016. Was replaced by Kendra Ray.|
|Nichole Birky||Jackie Doolittle||1||Played Mental Health Case Coordinator supervisor Jacqueline Doolittle in "A Case Managing We Will Go". Died on April 2006, four months before the series peremiered.|
|Garfield Everman||Various||156||Was a recurring male voice from 2006 to 2010. Died on March 31, 2011.|
|Holly Everman||Angie Willis, Lisa Shanks and various others||156||Played Angie Willis for the first six seasons. Died on May 23, 2017. Was replaced by Karly Jameson.|
|Amy Grant||Various, as well as Pamhouser's singing voice||20||Appeared frequently in the first four seasons. Returned for one episode in 2019.|
|Robyn Hurd||Adrienne Fansler||??||Voiced Adrienne Fansler and other older female characters. Died on May 23, 2012. Was replaced by Alexandra Moffitt.|
|Leonard Lai||Tom Willis and various others||156||Character was killed off in Quillsville Cold Case. Died on October 26, 2015.|
Recurring guest voices
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- "Queen of the Willis' Ava Zinn".
- "Queen of the Willis Cast and Details".
- "Q&A: Karly Jameson".
- "Karly Jameson (Angie) Laughs at the Once-Dead Queen of the Willis' Longevity".
- "Queen of the Willis – Casting Kendra Ray".
- "Former Iowa's 10/NBC 21 anchor Kendra Ray Talks About Working on Vote for the Girls and Queen of the Willis". KIAX.
- "Rachael Passalt fits right in with new Queen of the Willis".
- "Fans help 'Queen of the Willis' return to NoSirGifts".
- RAGStory: Audio Commentary