Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Original Pingu voice actor Carlo Bonomi dies aged 85: Tributes are paid to Italian star who gifted the world with the iconic ‘noot, noot’ phrase

  • Bonomi voiced the much-loved character from its creation in 1990 until 2000
  • The Italian star made up the ‘Penguinese’ language based on Milan’s dialect
  • He never used a script and provided the voices for all the show’s characters 

The original voice of Pingu who coined the penguin’s iconic ‘noot, noot’ phrase has died aged 85.

Carlo Bonomi, from Milan, lent his voice to the South Pole emperor penguin from its creation in 1990 until 2000.

The nonsensical gibberish he used for Pingu, known as Penguinese, was based on Milanese dialect and was inspired by his earlier work on Italian animated series La Linea.

But he continued to voice the Italian version for a number of popular cartoon characters including Mickey Mouse and Fred Flintstone.

Bonomi also recorded the railway announcements for the central station in Milan and Florence’s Santa Maria Novella Station, although these have since been changed.

A cause of death for the voice actor has not yet been revealed but tributes have been pouring in for the star.

One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘That programme was cute and funny to me as a child, but considering we never understood a word being said, the empathy I would feel for those animated animals was remarkable and I have this gentleman to thank.’

Another said: RIP Carlo Bonomi, thank you for your service in children’s entertainment and for giving my childhood some light to shine in the dark.’ 

Pingu was last on screen in 2006 although a Japanese spinoff, titled Pingu in the City, aired from 2017 to 2019.

The show was originally a claymation co-created by Otmar Gutmann and Erika Brueggemann, with a pilot screened at a 1987 film festival.

Bonomi’s noises and its absence of any speech helped the character become universally loved around the world.

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of

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