I’m sad to report that Disney Legend Russi Taylor passed away on July 26th, 2019, at the age of 75.
We are sorry to report that Disney Legend Russi Taylor has passed away: https://t.co/4jRNfBnZ6Z pic.twitter.com/rE6bgt2UzG
— Disney D23 (@DisneyD23) July 27, 2019
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 4, 1944, she wanted to work fro Disney since she was a child. Recounting this story:
“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. 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!”
She was the official voice of Minnie Mouse, which she started doing 30 years ago when she auditioned and won the part in 1986. Voicing the character in “.. in hundreds of Disney projects—from television, to theme park experiences, animated shorts, and theatrical films—no performance was too tough for Russi’s accomplished take on the divine Miss Minnie Mouse.”
But what makes her story so much more endearing is that she married the voice of Mickey Mouse.
According to D23:
Russi found her real-life Mickey in the mid-1980s in the form of Wayne Allwine, who had voiced Mickey Mouse since 1977. The pair fell deeply in love and married in 1991, remaining as inseparable as their animated counterparts until Wayne’s passing in 2009. “I really want whoever comes after us to be aware of the history and the tradition, and to love the characters as much as we do,” she said of herself and Wayne.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company had this to say about Russi Taylor:
“Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor. 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. 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. Russi will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences.”
Besides the voice of Minnie Mouse, Russi also voiced such characters as Strawberry Shortcake, Pebbles Flintstone, Sherri and Terri on The Simpsons, Baby Gonzo in Muppet Babies, Nurse Mouse in The Rescuers Down Under, Webbigail Vanderquack in the original DuckTales, and she also did voices for shows like TaleSpin, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Kim Possible, Sofia the First, The Little Mermaid, The Lion Guard and Tangled: The Series.
This makes me terribly sad. She will be missed.
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