Jennifer Leigh Hale (born January 1, 1965) is a Canadian-American voice actress known for her work in video game series including Baldur's Gate, Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid, Spider-Man, BioShock Infinite, Overwatch and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. In 2013, she was recognized by Guinness World Records as "the most prolific video game voice actor (female)".
Hale was born in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Her mother was what she called "a wandering master's degree pursuer", and her stepfather was a microbiologist. In an interview with Tom Bissell of The New Yorker, she revealed that her biological father was an outdoorsman. She grew up in the American South, residing mainly in Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama. When she was a teenager, she got a voice-over spot at a local radio station where she was paid 35 dollars just for talking. While in high school she did more voice-over work for commercials and at age 17, she also worked as a production assistant. In 1982 she graduated from Alabama School of Fine Arts where she was in the theatre department and had interests in being in a rock band: "I started doing voice-over to pay for life and a PA system and everything else, and ended up that just sort of took over, acting took over." She attended Birmingham-Southern College, where she found the program's style was broader than what she wanted to do, and she was more interested in film acting than theatre acting; she graduated there with a business degree. She worked as an actress and continued doing voice-overs, commuting frequently between Birmingham and Atlanta, Georgia.
Her first big break in acting was in 1988 for the made-for-television movie A Father's Homecoming, which was an NBC movie of the week. She was also selected among a group of about six thousand girls in a nationwide search to be in several episodes of the Santa Barbara soap opera television series. After doing more regional work, she eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she took on sporadic guest roles typical for young actresses on shows such as Melrose Place, ER, and Charmed. Her first major voice-over role in cartoons was the main character Ivy in Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? which was based on the computer game series. As it was her first cartoon, she sought extra classes and training. The show spanned multiple seasons until its final broadcast in 1999. Hale enjoyed the project and noted that it was one of the first network TV cartoons that met the educational requirements. Hale's next animation project was Skeleton Warriors where "there were ten cast members, two of whom were girls, and we blew stuff up and cartoon maimed each other every week." The development of a tie-in video game for Carmen Sandiego gave her the opportunity to do her first ever voice-over for a video game. She describes her time with the game as a "really confusing experience" as it required a lot more lines and time than the show did. Her next major video game was with BioWare on their Baldur's Gate series on various roles, which would eventually lead to large roles in Mass Effect and other titles.
Since then, Hale has gone on to be involved in many other animated series, including The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, The Powerpuff Girls, Codename: Kids Next Door, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, Avatar: The Last Airbender, as well as The Legend of Korra and Totally Spies!. She also voices Cinderella and Princess Aurora in various Disney Princess projects.
Hale married Barry Oswick in 2009 and lives in the Los Angeles area. She has a son. She has several pets. She enjoys the outdoors and has mentioned that she might have become an architect, because she likes to redo houses. Although she voices in a lot of video games, she said that she did not play any until her interview with Tom Bissell for The New Yorker, where she played Mass Effect for the first time. She has mentioned that she was not even allowed to watch cartoons when she was a kid. Her hobbies include horses; she has mentioned being a part of the local evacuation response team that rescues them from advancing brush fires.
In 2017, she tweeted for support to free her Labrador father Jim Learning, who was imprisoned for refusing to sign an injunction to stay away from Muskrat Falls, and who has an advanced cancer. Learning is part of the NunatuKavut community as an elder. Learning also has a daughter named Carren Dujela, who works at University of Victoria.
- Jason and the Heroes of Mount Olympus (2001) - Additional Voices
- Totally Spies! (2001-2013) - Sam, Mandy, Gabriella, Phoebe, Medieval Woman (ep. 6), Red-Haired Secretary (ep. 10), Cookie Girl #2 (ep. 13), Sally (ep. 14), Mrs. Muckle (ep. 23), Rave Girl (ep. 40), Vladimarina (ep. 41), Stacy (ep. 106), Additional Voices
- Winx Club (2004-present) - Barbatea, Professor Zarathustra, Sally, Ginger, Woman (ep. 90), Mom (ep. 88), Field Reporter (ep. 89), Girl (ep. 92), Blonde Girl (ep. 93), Boy (ep. 95) (Nickelodeon Dub)
- Totally Spies! The Movie (2009) - Sam, Mandy
- X-Men (2011) - Jean Grey/Phoenix
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001) - Electra Ovila
- Naruto The Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel (2005) - Kamira
Video Game Dubbing
- Metal Gear Solid (1998) - Dr. Naomi Hunter
- Orphen: Scion of Sorcery (2000) - Cleao Everlasting, Quaris
- Dark Cloud 2 (2002) - Holly
- Ape Escape: On the Loose (2005) - Casi, Mother, Child (US Dub)
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (2010) - Princess Aurora, Cinderella, Operator
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (2013) - Additional Voices
- World of Final Fantasy (2016) - Pellinore / Lusse Farna
- No More Heroes 3 (2021) - Kimmy Howell