Russi Taylor, the actress who voiced Minnie Mouse since 1986, died in Glendale, California on Friday. She was 75-years-old.
Russi Taylor who officially voiced the beloved animated character Minnie Mouse has passed away. Taylor died in Glendale, California on Friday at 75 according to a statement released by the Walt Disney Co. No cause of death was given. Taylor provided voice-overs for animated TV series, films and theme parks featuring Mickey's high-pitched and giggly partner Minney since 1986. She also played characters in The Simpsons including Bart's dorky classmate Martin.
She has reunited with her husband Wayne, I'm sure of it, and theyre probably playing their roles of Mickey and Minnie for all the Disney fans up in Heaven. They will be missed, but I am happy knowing they're together again. pic.twitter.com/pOGFUeQHuh— Brian (@Ixbran) July 27, 2019
Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company confirmed that Russi Taylor, the wife of the late actor, Wayne Allwine (who lent the voice of Mickey Mouse, from 1977 until his death in 2009) had passed away. "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.
The world is a little less magical today. Russi Taylor, voice of Minnie Mouse has passed away. She was so kind & talented. Here is a video of her calling my daughter when she found out her favorite character was Minnie. Thank you for all the smiles, Ms Taylor! #RIPRussiTaylor pic.twitter.com/QC4iKOjtD7— Ricky Roxburgh (@RickyRoxburgh) July 28, 2019
Minnie was first voiced by Walt Disney himself, who was also the original voice of Mickey Mouse. Marjorie Ralston, a Disney inker who joined the animation team as Disney's thirteenth employee, voiced her in the 1929 short Wild Waves but did not further pursue the role out of shyness. Then, from 1930 until 1939, she was voiced by Marcellite Garner. From 1941 to 1942, and on the radio program, The Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air, she was voiced by Thelma Boardman. Following this, from 1942 to 1952 Ruth Clifford provided the character's voice. Janet Waldo voiced Minnie in the 1974 Disneyland record album, An Adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Performed by The Walt Disney Players.
Minnie Mouse would go without any spoken dialogue until 1986 when Russi Taylor inherited the role, which she performed until her death in 2019. Taylor married Allwine in 1991, and they remained "as inseparable as their animated counterparts until Wayne's death", Disney said.
My heart is broken. You will never meet a woman as sweet, generous, talented & luminescent as #RussiTaylor. I first met her when we did #PigglyWinks together. She would sit beside me and let me wear all her fancy rings. Then she would point through the glass to her husband Wayne— tara strong (@tarastrong) July 27, 2019
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." Taylor, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 4 May 1944, and was picked from 200 candidates to play Minnie at an audition in 1986. She also lent her voice to roles on other classic TV animated series like TaleSpin, The Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Kim Possible. Taylor was named a Disney legend in 2008.
#RIP Russi Taylor, 75.— Rhett Bartlett (@dialmformovies) July 27, 2019
The voice of Minnie Mouse since 1986.
But for fans of @TheSimpsons she was the enthusiastic nerdy student Martin Prince, the twins Sherri & Terri, and the chocolate loving German exchange student Üter. pic.twitter.com/renLphCpXa
Though Mickey and Minnie have never been married onscreen, Walt Disney said in a 1933 interview that "in private life, Mickey is married to Minnie." The first time Mickey referred to Minnie as his girlfriend was through song in 1929's Mickey'sFollies where he sang that he got a sweetie…she's my little Minnie Mouse. Taylor who was a very ardent Disney fan recalled her first meeting with Walt Disney before her passing. “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!" she said.
10 years ago we lost Wayne Allwine, voice of Mickey Mouse who was the real life husband of Russi Taylor, voice of Minnie. God knows how hard it must’ve been for Russi to call someone else Minnie the past 10 years. Today, Mickey and Minnie are together again. #RIPRussiTaylor ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3na0JhNM5m— Iguanodon (@TFPDocBot) July 27, 2019
Never was there a more perfect piece of casting than #RussiTaylor as the voice of Minnie mouse. The sweetness and enthusiasm were genuine… And she and her late husband Wayne Allwine (who voiced Mickey) were a match made in heaven. #MinnieMouse #RestInPeace pic.twitter.com/IjfRL1eBOi— Leonard Maltin (@leonardmaltin) July 28, 2019