Sunday, July 28, 2019

Mickey & Minnie Together Again

Russi Taylor passed away yesterday at the age of 75.  That name may not sound familiar, but I'm sure her voice would.

Taylor voiced Strawberry Shortcake and Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby Vanderquack, and Grandma Duck on Ducktales.  She was Martin Prince, Sherri and Terri, and Uter on The Simpsons.

But she was most famous as the official voice of Minnie Mouse from 1986 to date.  For everything from film, to television specials, to parades, to "live-action" character appearances, it was her voice you heard.

In a wonderful case of art imitating life, she married Wayne Allwine, the second voice of Mickey Mouse in 1991.  He had become the voice of Mickey in 1977 and remained so until his death in 2009.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 4, 1944, Taylor had always wanted to work for Disney.  “When I was a little girl, I was with my mom and my brother, and it was late at night at 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!

Boy did she.  Taylor beat out 200 other hopefuls during a 1986 audition for the role of Minnie Mouse.  She voiced other roles for Disney up to and including parts in Sofia the First, The Lion Guard, and Tangled: The Series.

Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russia 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.  Russia will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences.
Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company

I never wanted to be famous,” she once said.  “The characters I do are famous, and that’s fine for me.

Well, whether she wanted fame or not, to a group in the know, she definitely found it.

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