We don’t often see the faces behind the voices of our favorite animated characters. And yet it is those voices that stay with us through the years, as recognizable as a classic song.
Russi Taylor was one of those “songs.” For over three decades, she graced us with her magical voice, always behind the mic while Minnie Mouse took center stage.
Taylor passed away on Saturday, July 27, 2019, at the age of 75. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, released a statement in the wake of the sad news.
“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,” Iger said, according to a Facebook post from Walt Disney Records.
“We’re so grateful for Russi’s talent as well as the tremendous spirit and great joy she brought to everything she did,” the statement went on. “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.”
Minnie Mouse wasn’t Taylor’s only role. She also voiced Huey, Dewey and Louie from the animated series “DuckTales.” Other credits to her name include voice roles on “The Simpsons,” “Babe” and the animated sequels to “Cinderella”, according to IMDB.
“Russi has Minnie’s tremendous love of people,” Allwine said once of his wife in an interview.
The pair met when Taylor started voicing Minnie in 1986 and they fell in love, according to LaughingPlace.com.
Working for the Walt Disney Company had been Taylor’s lifelong dream, and she even told Walt as much when she met him as a young girl.
“We had just come off the Mark Twain Riverboat and were getting some popcorn,” she continued. “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!”
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
Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin tweeted his sentiments about the actors who voiced the most famous mice in the world for so many years.
“Never was there a more perfect piece of casting than #RussiTaylor as the voice of Minnie mouse,” Maltin wrote. “The sweetness and enthusiasm were genuine… And she and her late husband Wayne Allwine (who voiced Mickey) were a match made in heaven.”
We couldn’t agree more. Our hearts go out to the family at this time. Russi Taylor will never be forgotten and will live on as the lady behind the legend.
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