Russi Taylor, best known voicing Minnie Mouse, has died. She was 75.
Disney confirmed Taylor’s death on Saturday with a statement from Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. Taylor, who was married to the late actor, Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, died in Glendale, California, on Friday.
“Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor,” he said.
“For more than 30 years, Minnie and Russi worked together to entertain millions around the world — a partnership that made Minnie a global icon and Russi a Disney Legend beloved by fans everywhere,” Iger continued.
“We’re so grateful for Russi’s talent as well as the tremendous spirit and great joy she brought to everything she did. It was a privilege to have known her and an honor to have worked with her, and we take comfort in the knowledge that her work will continue to entertain and inspire for generations to come,” he shared.
“Russi will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences,” Iger concluded.
Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy and a longtime friend, also shared a statement following her death. “Russi was as close as family; as wonderful, funny, and sweet as Minnie Mouse, and as talented yet humble as you would expect,” he said. “I will deeply and dearly miss her.”
The Cambridge, Massachusetts, native voiced Minnie in many projects across platforms, including for television, theme park experiences, animated shorts and theatrical films.
Before she landed her dream role as Minnie, Taylor was a big fan of Disney since childhood, having even met Walt Disney himself.
“When I was a little girl, I was with my mom and my brother, and it was late at night at Disneyland. We had just come off the Mark Twain Riverboat and were getting some popcorn. I looked over and saw Walt sitting on a bench, so we introduced ourselves and shared our popcorn with him,” she said, according to the company. “At one point during our chat, he asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up, and I said, ‘I want to work for you!’ So he said, ‘Okay!’—and now I do!”
In addition to voicing Minnie, Taylor also lent her voice to Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and their friend Webbigail Vanderquack in the original DuckTales animated series.
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