Russi Taylor, who has been the voice of Disney’s Minnie Mouse for more than three decades, has died at the age of 75.
TMZ announced that Taylor passed away on Friday in her Glendale, California, home, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who stated that “Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor.”
“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 said in a statement.
Iger finished by saying that Taylor will be missed, and Disney sends condolences to her family and friends at what is a huge loss.
Russi Taylor started voicing Minnie Mouse in the ’80s, and continued to voice the beloved, internationally recognized Disney character through 2019.
Taylor voiced other characters through the years, including Pebbles on The Flinstones, the Mackleberry Twins, and Martin Prince on The Simpsons, and other characters on The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Muppets,” and even other Disney favorites.
Ironically, Taylor was once married to Wayne Allwine, who passed in 2009. Allwine voiced Mickey Mouse for Disney.
JUST IN: Disney Legend Russi Taylor, the official voice of Minnie Mouse since 1986, has died ????
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 27, 2019
Taylor was considered family by many of the other actors who voiced fan favorite Disney characters, reveals People Magazine. Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy, and a longtime friend of Taylor, 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. I will deeply and dearly miss her,” he said.
Russi Taylor was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and over the years has been the voice of Minnie Mouse for cartoons, television, movies, and also as part of the theme park experience.
In an interview, Taylor shared a story about meeting Walt Disney when she was a child. She explained that she was at Disney World, and had just come off of Mark Twain’s Riverboat ride when she stopped with her mother and brother to get popcorn, and Disney was sitting on a park bench. She says they sat down and shared their popcorn with him, and he asked Taylor what she wanted to do when she grew up.
She said she told Disney that one day she wanted to work for him, and he said, “okay.”
“And now I do!” she said.