Fun Fact: Taylor was married to the voice of Mickey Mouse
Russi Taylor, a voice actress best known for voicing Minnie Mouse, died at the age of 75 this weekend.
“Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “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.”
Taylor began her career with Hanna-Barbera, voicing characters for The Flintstone Comedy Show in the early ’80s and eventually landed at Disney, which was something of a dream come true after she met Walt Disney as a child.
“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,” she said, according to the company. “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 took on the role as Minnie’s voice in 1986, one that — according to the AV Club — had gone completely unvoiced for the proceeding 12 years before she took on the role. It was there she also met her husband, Wayne Allwine — a.k.a. the voice of Mickey Mouse. The two wed in 1991 and were married until his death in 2009.
“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,” Iger continued. “Russi will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences.”
Minnie wasn’t her only beloved role. She spent decades voicing the nerdiest of all nerds, Martin Prince, on The Simpsons, as well as voiced Sherri and Terri and Uter. She also voiced Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and their friend Webbigail Vanderquack in the original DuckTales series and a host of others throughout her career.
After assuming the character of Minnie, Taylor appeared in hundreds of Disney projects, including television shows, theme park experiences, animated shorts, and films including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Runaway Brain, Get a Horse! and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers. She will be missed by all the fans who she endeared herself to over her 30-year career.