Russi Taylor, Disney’s official voice of Minnie Mouse for more than three decades, died at the age of 75, the entertainment giant announced on Saturday.
“We take comfort in the knowledge that her work will continue to entertain and inspire for generations to come,” Iger said
“Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor,” Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement..
“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 died in Glendale, California on Friday, Disney said. The company did not give the cause of death. She had been Disney’s pick from a group of 200 candidates at a 1986 audition.
The Massachusetts native said she met Walt Disney as a girl, on a visit to Disneyland.
Life imitated art when Russi met her real-life Mickey in the 1980s: it was Wayne Allwine, who had voiced Mickey Mouse since 1977.
“Wayne was coming out of a session as Mickey for ‘Totally Minnie.’ We met in the hallway. We just blended really well,” Taylor told the LA Times in 2014.
They wed in 1991 but generally “kept it quiet. We didn’t want it to be about Mickey and Minnie being married. It was about Wayne and Russi being married. We had the best time. We laughed a lot. We were always singing. We always had music in the house.”
The duo stayed as close as their animated counterparts until Wayne’s 2009 death.
“I never wanted to be famous,” she said. “The characters I do are famous, and that’s fine for me.”
In addition to Minnie Mouse and other Disney characters, Taylor was also the voice of Strawberry Shortcake and Pebbles Flintstone. She worked in television for decades, including on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Simpsons.”