Russi Taylor, the voice actress behind Minnie Mouse has died, the Walt Disney Company confirmed. She was 75.
“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, said Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger.
“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 honour 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.”
Taylor is best known as the official voice of Minnie Mouse, a role she first took on 30 years ago after beating out 200 other Minnie Mouse hopefuls during a 1986 audition. After assuming the character, she has since appeared in hundreds of Disney projects, including television shows, theme park experiences, animated shorts and theatrical films.
While working for Disney, Taylor also met her husband Wayne Allwine, who had voiced Mickey Mouse since 1977. The two married in 1991 and remained together until Allwine’s death in 2009.
As Minnie Mouse, Taylor’s Disney film credits span a wide swath of classics including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Runaway Brain, Get a Horse! and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers in addition to the television series Mickey MouseWorks, House of Mouse, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Mickey and the Roadster Racers.
However, as the years went by, Taylor expanded her voice acting chops to other Disney characters which include Nurse Mouse in The Rescuers Down Under and Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie in the Ducktales animated series. Outside of Disney, she voiced Martin Prince and the twins, Sherri and Terri, on The Simpsons.