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The voice behind Mr. Burns, Smithers, and Ned Flanders is leaving The Simpsons

Actor Harry Shearer arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 20th Century Fox's The Simpsons Movie held at the Mann Village Theaters on July 24, 2007, in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Actor Harry Shearer arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 20th Century Fox's The Simpsons Movie held at the Mann Village Theaters on July 24, 2007, in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Harry Shearer, one of the major voice actors on The Simpsons, has announced he is leaving the show. Throughout its 26 seasons, Shearer has voiced 23 characters on the animated Fox series, including Simpsons cornerstones Mr. Burns, Otto, Ned Flanders, Smithers, and Principal Skinner. He's responsible for roughly 18 percent of the show's 126 recurring characters.

Here's a breakdown, by dadaviz user @jishai, of all of Shearer's characters, alongside those played by other voice actors:

(dadaviz user Jishai)

Simpsons showrunner Al Jean said that Shearer's characters will not be killed off; instead, they'll be reassigned to other actors.

"We do not plan to kill off characters like Burns and Flanders, but will recast with the finest voiceover talent available," Jean said in statement on Thursday.

The Simpsons' 27th and 28th seasons were slated to begin production soon. However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, there were delays due to negotiations surrounding Shearer's contract. Shearer announced his departure on Twitter on Thursday morning:

(James L. Brooks is an executive producer on The Simpsons.)

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