The work of a voiceover director is seldom seen, and recognized even less frequently. But they’re a crucial part of the process on animated projects — after all, someone’s got to shepherd an actor through the tricky work of bringing life to a character they can’t see or otherwise contextualize in a real space. And in the rarified industry of voiceover direction, one name commands more respect than any other: Andrea Romano.

IGN reported yesterday that Romano, director of 10,000 voice sessions spanning over 1,600 episodes of television, 50 feature films, and 20 video games, has announced her well-earned retirement. Following her diagnosis of optic neuropathy in one eye, leaving her half-blind, she decided to cap off her career later this week. Her final project will be Voltron Legendary Defender, due to surface on Netflix this Friday.

Romano was the brain behind a truly staggering number of beloved childhood favorites for the past few generations. She directed the recording sessions for, and this is just a small sampling: DuckTalesAnimaniacsAvatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, Teen TitansBatman: The Animated Series, The Boondocks, Freakazoid and the lion’s share of the DC straight-to-video animated films. You can pretty much think back to whatever cartoon you were obsessed with at age 11, and safely assume that Romano was responsible for assembling and managing to voice talent responsible for it. As she cruises into her golden years, she leaves behind a massive body of work testifying to a legacy of steadfast excellence. It’s impressive to be the best at what you do, even if most people don’t quite know what that is.

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