Actress Russi Taylor, who voiced Disney character Minnie Mouse for more than 30 years, has passed away at the age of 75.
In a statement, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced: “Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor. Russi will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences.”
Her cause of death has not been revealed.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1944, it was always Russi’s dream to work for Disney.
According to the company, when Russi was a young girl she walked up to Walt Disney himself and told him that, one day, she wanted to work for him.
Her dream came true in 1986 when she beat more than 200 hopefuls to be the voice of Minnie Mouse, the company said.
Minnie was even inducted into the Hollywood Walk Of Fame last year, with singer Katy Perry dressing in the character’s iconic polka dots for the ceremony.
While she also voiced Pebbles Flintstone and twins Sherri and Terri on The Simpsons, Minnie was by far Russi’s most iconic role.
And it was also one that lead to long-lasting love and happiness for the star.
In a tale of life imitating art, the actress fell in love with Mickey Mouse voice actor Wayne Allwine, who passed away in 2009.
Disney boss Iger called the couple, who married in 1991, “as inseparable as their animated counterparts”.
— Disney (@Disney) July 27, 2019
He added of the actress: “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.”
He added: “We take comfort in the knowledge that her work will continue to entertain and inspire for generations to come.”
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