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What These Voice Actors For Halo's Master Chief Look Like In Real Life

The "Halo" franchise is loved by plenty of people for a variety of reasons, from the exciting gunplay and multiplayer action to the portrayal of its iconic characters. And while the internet has fallen head over heels for an adorable character in "Halo Infinite" called Meowlnir, there's still one character who will always outrank him in popularity: Master Chief.

As the lead protagonist of the series, Master Chief has left a lasting impression on fans of the "Halo" franchise since the beginning, and the Chief has been voiced by a number of talented actors over years of games and television. While some of the actors who have played Master Chief keep a lower profile than others — like Japanese voice actor Atsuki Tani — some of them have maintained a consistent career in both voice acting and on-screen appearances. 

These five actors have played plenty of other roles outside of voicing Master Chief, even if nothing can quite top that character in some people's minds. Here's what they look like in real life, as well as where you might have seen (or heard) them before.

Steve Downes

In addition to working as a DJ for 44 years, Steve Downes has played Master Chief in every single "Halo" game, and his voice is the one that most people likely associate with the character. In fact, it seems like TV is the only medium in which he doesn't voice Master Chief — even cameos of Master Chief in other games, like "Super Bomberman R," used Steve Downes' voice.

When it comes to other roles, it seems the "Halo" franchise has kept Downes busy and fulfilled, to the point where he hasn't taken on a ton of other gigs in recent years. In the midst of his "Halo" career, however, the voice actor also played Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) in a 2012 episode of the Marvel animated series "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes." 

Steve Downes seems to enjoy interacting with his fans, as well. He's active on Cameo and puts a great deal of effort into his personalized messages, including a memorable one in which he used Master Chief's voice to tell people to be safe during the first COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. 

In an interview with MobileSyrup from 2021, Downes explained that it's "surreal" to have played Master Chief for 20 years. He remarked that the community of "Halo" players have brought him "real joy" when he's met them at conventions.

Rikiya Koyama

In the Japanese version of "Super Bomberman R," Master Chief's lines were supplied by prolific voice actor Rikiya Koyama.

Although Koyama's turn as Master Chief is in a relatively obscure game, anime fans might recognize his voice and potentially his name, because Koyama has been involved in over 250 projects since 1989. Some of his recurring roles include Yamato in "Naruto" and its subsequent spin-off series, Shinigami in "Soul Eater, and Ging Freecss in "Hunter x Hunter." He's also lent his talents to a number of video games, including "Tales of Vesperia," multiple "Yakuza" titles, several "Shin Megami Tensei" games, and controversial titles such as "Metroid: Other M," and "Final Fantasy 14." 

Koyama notably provides the Japanese dub voices for some of Hollywood's biggest stars, including Kiefer Sutherland. In fact, the fandom surrounding his performance as Jack Bauer in the dub of "24" is so beloved in Japan that he was asked to sing "Ore wa Jack Bauer" at a con in 2012 — a song that became somewhat of a meme in Japan when it was used promote "24" (via Sora News 24).

David Wald

In the animated web series "Halo Legends," David Wald provides the voice of Master Chief. Wald is a well-known English voice actor with over 300 projects on his resume, including a variety of popular anime and video games.

In an interview with SciFi Monkeys, Wald explained that he'd wanted to do voice acting since he was five years old. He began his career in theatre productions, which opened the door to voice acting opportunities and a successful career.

Some of the most popular anime he's worked on include "My Hero Academia," "Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?," "Haikyuu!!," and "The Disastrous Life of Saiki K." He also made small appearances in shows like "Fruits Basket," "One Piece," and "Food Wars," showing he can do action, comedy, and romance.

David Wald also has several video games under his belt, including "Borderlands 3," "Street Fighter 5," and "Smite." Not only is Wald a talented voice actor, he's also worked as a writer on several shows and directed the English dub of "Love Stage!!" 

JK Simmons

JK Simmons is arguably the biggest name to ever voice Master Chief. Simmons won an Oscar in 2015 for his supporting role in "Whiplash," and he's won over 60 other awards over the course of his acting and his voice acting career. Simmons had the opportunity to voice a parody of Master Chief in Adult Swim's "Robot Chicken."

Simmons has shown off his talent in a variety of genres, performing as an actor in everything from musicals like "La La Land" to superhero movies like "Spider-Man" and "Justice League." His voice acting career has included spots in hit series such as "BoJack Horseman" and "Spongebob Squarepants."

While he's a prominent actor both physically and over the mic, he's talked specifically about the benefits of voice acting before. In an interview with the Today Show in 2016, he pointed out that he enjoys voice acting because he can retreat into the "theater of the mind" — and he doesn't have to shave or dress up, either. 

Abraham Benrubi

JK Simmons wasn't the only person to play the voice of Master Chief on "Robot Chicken" — he shares that distinction with Abraham Benrubi. In fact, Benrubi has appeared on the comedy series multiple times, playing a variety of pop culture characters like Optimus Prime and Tony the Tiger. During an interview at the 2011 Comikaze Expo, he shared that his inspiration for acting comes from characters like Spider-Man, Darth Vader from "Star Wars," and Bilbo Baggins from "The Lord of the Rings."

Abraham Benrubi is likely best known to live-action audiences for his time on the popular television show "ER," in which he played Jerry Markovic. He's also popped up in video games, making multiple appearances in "World of Warcraft."

When he's not on screen, Benrubi is a major advocate for things like mental health awareness, and he uses his Twitter account to promote those messages. He's also an avid "Dungeons and Dragons" fan, and he's not shy about sharing his wild role-playing adventures with his fans.