Christine Cavanaugh, an Annie Award-winning voice actor who brought to life such characters as Babe the Sheep Pig, Chuckie on Rugrats and the title kid in Dexter’s Laboratory, has died. She was 51. The Utah native died December 22, according to the Los Angeles Times; no cause of death was reported.
Cavanaugh started out as an actress in the late 1980s, appearing on such shows as Cheers and Empty Nest. In 1991 she landed a regular gig as the voice of Goslyn Mallard on Darkwing Duck, appearing in more than 70 episodes. Probably her most famous TV gig began that same year as she voiced Chuckie Finster, the scaredy-cat oldest baby on Nickelodeon’s Rugrats. Cavanaugh played the character for 135-plus episodes until 2002, when Nancy Cartwright took over. She also played Chuckie in The Rugrats Movie (1998).
During that time she continued working on TV, landing a regular voice role as Bunnie Rabbot in Sonic The Hedgehog and Marty Sherman on The Critic. Perhaps her most identifiable role was as the title oinker in George Miller’s feel-good barnyard tale Babe (1995). The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and won for Best Visual Effects. It also added a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy/Musical.
In 1996, she began a two-season run on the Cartoon Network hit Dexter’s Laboratory, playing the kid genius with the secret lab in his bedroom. She won an Annie Award for the Dexter role in 2000 after being nominated in 1997 and 1998. Cavanaugh continued to rack up credits throughout the ’90s and 2000s, including voice work on such shows as 101 Dalmatians: The Series, The Wild Thornberrys and a pair of Rugrats telepics.