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Stephen L. Russell is an actor who voiced various characters in Fallout 3, Fallout 4 and its add-on Far Harbor, as well as Fallout 76 and its updates Wild Appalachia, Wastelanders, Nuka-World on Tour, Mutation Invasion and Skyline Valley. Most prominent among his roles are the Mister Handy robots throughout all three games, in addition to the companions Nick Valentine and Codsworth in Fallout 4.


Work on the Fallout series[]

Fallout 3[]

Russell first provided voice work for the Fallout series with Fallout 3 (2008), in which he was introduced as the voice of Mister Handy robots. Russell initially became involved with Bethesda Softworks productions as a result of his connections with Looking Glass Studios, as many of its former employees moved to Bethesda, including Emil Pagliarulo, among others. Russell's voice for the Mister Handies took some inspiration from a Basil Fawlty-type delivery, and it came naturally to Russell through the sort of characterization the directors wanted, as well as the writing of the Mister Handy characters.[1] Russell also voiced Harold, a character from previous Fallout games, in addition to male Enclave soldiers.

Fallout 4[]

Russell voiced various characters in Fallout 4 (2015), with his work being recorded over a few years, in periods of several back-to-back days, approximately every four months.[2] He reprised the role of Mister Handies, including the companion Codsworth. Compared to his performance as Mister Handies in Fallout 3, Russell stated that Codsworth is more fleshed out and mature, with a "code of ethics that may have evolved beyond what was programmed into him." Codsworth also became known for his ability to say a wide range of player character names. Russell recorded these names over one week near the end of production, ending each session with around an hour of saying names.[3]

Russell also voiced the character of Nick Valentine, another companion in the game. Russell's performance as Nick received significant praise.[4] He took inspiration from the style of noir detective that Nick is based upon, in particular the actor Humphrey Bogart, whom Russell said he has seen just about every film he starred in. Russell stated that Nick is one of the "most soulful" characters he has played, owing to his moral compass and "intentionally ironic" in a way, given his status as a synth. When recording for Nick, Russell did not yet even know what the character looked like, as he only had a script to work with. However, he thought that Nick's final appearance ultimately fit the character very well.[5]

He reprised the role of Nick Valentine for the Far Harbor add-on (2016), in which he also voiced DiMA. Although the two characters are directly linked and share many scenes with each other, their lines were recorded by Russell in different sessions. Russell described some of DiMA's dialogue as the hardest and most emotional, but also the most fun to record.[2][6] The development of DiMA's voice involved a series of back-and-forth attempts at different cadences and speeds. One challenge that Russell encountered while voicing DiMA was balancing the need to differentiate DiMA from Nick with a different voice range, but also adhering to DiMA's status as a more reserved and calculating prototype synth.[7]

Fallout 76[]

Russell returned to the franchise with Fallout 76 (2018), where he again reprised his role as Mister Handies. Due to the initial lack of human characters in the game, Mister Handies and other robots became more prominent in Appalachia, with many acting as quest-givers. He continued in this capacity for the Wild Appalachia update (2019). With the introduction of the Wastelanders update (2020), Russell again voiced more Mister Handy characters, such as Davenport, even as human NPCs entered the game world. Russell also voiced expanded dialogue for some characters already in the game, such as Jack O' Lantern.

With Fallout 76's status as a live-service game, Russell returned to the game two years later with the Nuka-World on Tour update (2022), in which he voiced Mr. Lovely and an ex-raider. He also voiced the narrator of the Rip Daring radio play, as well as a fictional Mister Handy character, Percival, introduced in the Mutation Invasion update (2023). In the Skyline Valley update (2024), he voiced the Mister Handies Gumley and Murry, as well as David Shuffleworth, the announcer for the event Dangerous Pastimes.

Other work[]

Russell began his career as a theatre actor, though he entered voice acting in 1997 by auditioning for Thief: The Dark Project. He was cast as the protagonist, Garrett, and reprised the role in the next two entries in the series. He also voiced Karras, the chief antagonist of Thief II, as well as voicing some of the minor characters in the series. Russell additionally contributed the voice of the starship Von Braun's central computer XERXES and that of William Bedford Diego in Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios' System Shock 2. He has since become a popular figure in both communities. Russell also voiced over two dozen characters in Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, released in 2011.

Russell went on to voice Corvo Attano, the protagonist of the Dishonored series, who became fully voiced in Dishonored 2 (2016). He also voiced Dr. Sylvian Bellamy in Prey's 2017 reboot, as well as Cabirus in Underworld Ascendant (2018), a game developed by former Looking Glass Studios employees at OtherSide Entertainment.


Fallout series[]

YearTitleCredited as/for
2008Fallout 3Mister Handies
Harold (credited as "The Great One")
Godfrey (uncredited)
Milo (uncredited)
Mister Buckingham (uncredited)
Wadsworth (uncredited)
Enclave officers (male, uncredited)
Enclave scientists (male, uncredited)
Enclave soldiers (male, uncredited)
2015Fallout 4Mister Handies
Nick Valentine
Codsworth (uncredited)
Bean (uncredited)
Cook Handy (uncredited)
Crisp (uncredited)
Danny (uncredited)
Deezer (uncredited)
Greeter (uncredited)
Kingpin (uncredited)
Lane (uncredited)
Mack (uncredited)
Oceanological instructor (uncredited)
Old Rusty (uncredited)
Percy (uncredited)
Professor Goodfeels (uncredited)
Reg (uncredited)
Sandy Coves attendant (uncredited)
Split (uncredited)
Sprocket (uncredited)
Strike (uncredited)
Tenpin (uncredited)
The Champ (uncredited)
Torte (uncredited)
Waitron (uncredited)
Wellingham (uncredited)
Whitechapel Charlie (uncredited)
2016Far HarborNick Valentine (uncredited)
DiMA (uncredited)
Maxwell (uncredited)
2018Fallout 76Mister Handies
Giles Sweetwater
Billingsley (uncredited)
Pennington (uncredited)
Crowley (uncredited)
Worthy (uncredited)
Merriman (uncredited)
Cavendish (uncredited)
Higgenbottom (uncredited)
Waiter Alfred (uncredited)
Waiter Clifford (uncredited)
Waiter Desmond (uncredited)
Waiter Elwood (uncredited)
Jack O' Lantern (uncredited)
Hemlock Holes cook (uncredited)
Huntmaster (uncredited)
Vlad (uncredited)
Pharmabot-JD7E (uncredited)
Prickett's Fort curator (uncredited)
Godrich (uncredited)
Whitespring greeter (uncredited) Fallout 76 removed content
Additional voices
2019Wild AppalachiaMaster of Ceremonies (uncredited)
Mr. Bandit (uncredited)
Mr. Squeeze (uncredited)
2020WastelandersMister Handies
Jack O' Lantern
Security Chief Robinson
Engineers (uncredited)
Medical staff (uncredited)
Mortimer (uncredited)
2022Nuka-World on TourMr. Lovely (uncredited)
Ex-raider (uncredited)
2023Mutation InvasionRip Daring narrator (uncredited)
Percival (uncredited)
2024Skyline ValleyDavid Shuffleworth

Other work[]

YearTitleCredited as/for
1998Thief: The Dark ProjectGarrett / Statue / Raoul / Guards / Hammerites / Servants
1999System Shock 2William Diego / XERXES / The Many / OnceGrunt / Announcer
2000Thief II: The Metal AgeGarrett / Karras / Guards / Civilians / Hammerite
2002Arx FatalisFallan Orbiplanax / Undead Creatures / Goblins / Enoill Calpale / Sacred Dagger
2003Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of UndrentideAdditional Voices
2004Thief: Deadly ShadowsGarrett / Guards / Hammerites / Townspeople
2004Freedom Force vs the 3rd ReichIron Ox / Man 'O' War / Blitzkrieg / Charles Wilson / Pan / Pinstripe / Time Master / Pierre
2008The Golden BoysLuther Norris
2009Ghosts of Girlfriends PastConnor Funeral Minister
2009The LightkeepersJedidiah Snow
2011The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimMercer Frey / Clavicus Vile / Barbas / Cynric Endell / Belethor / Mallus Maccius / Alain Dufont / Andurs / Boethiah Cultist / Braig / Captain Valmir / Dark Brotherhood Initiate / Endrast / Enthir / Erikur / Fallon / Jesper / Kodrir / Lemkil / Lucan Valerius / Madanach / Malthyr Elenil / Molgrom Twice-Killed / Nobleman / Orini Dral / Emperor Pelagius Septim III the Mad / Pelagius the Suspicious / Pelagius the Tormented / Sarthis Idren / Self Doubt / Sibbi Black-Briar / Sild the Warlock / Sorex Vinius / Stig Salt-Plank / Viarmo
2012The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – DawnguardArch-Curate Vyrthur / Nobleman / Venarus Vulpin
2012BioShock InfiniteBooker DeWitt (early demo; uncredited)
2015Dota 2Mister Handy Announcer
2015The Magic CircleThe Old Pro
2016True Vault EscapadesHemsworth (1 episode; archival)
2016Dishonored 2Corvo Attano
2017PreyDr. Sylvian Bellamy
2018Underworld AscendantCabirus
2019ZEDThe Dreamer
2023StarfieldCaptain Petrov / Larry Dumbrosky / Victor Aiza
2023Blood WestThe Revenant Gunslinger
2024FogtownThe Moth Napper

Behind the scenes[]

  • Russell voices the most amount of characters in Fallout 76, with over 35 roles across the original release of the game and its various updates, including many Mister Handies, which are common in the game.
  • Russell has only had a few roles in the Fallout series in which he played fully human characters, including the Enclave soldiers in Fallout 3 and the ex-raider in Nuka-World on Tour. Although they are not seen, being voice-only characters, the narrator of Rip Daring in Mutation Invasion and David Shuffleworth in Skyline Valley also appear to be human voices. All of his other roles include Mister Handy robots, the synthetic Nick Valentine and the mutant Harold.


External links[]