The voice of Minnie Mouse, Russi Taylor, died at the age of 75 last week, according to a statement from Disney.
“Through countless effervescent performances, Russi always showed an incredible talent for entertaining and improvisation,” the Walt Disney Company said in a statement.
“While she brought to life an illustrious cast of beloved characters during a career that spanned nearly four decades, Russi is best known as the official voice of Minnie Mouse,” it said. “She first assumed the role more than 30 years ago and has given voice to Minnie in hundreds of Disney projects—from television, to theme park experiences, animated shorts, and theatrical films—no performance was too tough for Russi’s accomplished take on the divine Miss Minnie Mouse.”
Minnie Mouse Voice Actor Russi Taylor Dead at 75 https://t.co/WKgt3NzXWj
— TMZ (@TMZ) July 27, 2019
According to her IMDB, she also voiced Marvin Prince as well as Sherri and Terri in “The Simpsons,” several characters in “DuckTales,” and many other cartoon characters.
Bob Iger, the CEO if Disney, issued a statement about her death.
“Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor,” he said. “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’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. Russi will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences.”
Taylor was once married to Mickey Mouse voice actor Wayne Allwine, who died in 2009, TMZ reported.
“You have to bring yourself to a character,” Taylor said of her voice acting. “But because of this particular character, she actually enhances who I am, she really does. In a sense Minnie makes me better than I was before ’cause there’s a lot to live up to.”
“I never wanted to be famous,” she also once said. “The characters I do are famous, and that’s fine for me.”
“Russi Taylor embodied the character of Minnie Mouse,” said Rick Dempsey, Senior Vice President, Disney Character Voices. “She truly was one of the kindest, most gracious, upbeat, and loving people I have ever had the privilege to work with and to count as a friend. Anytime anyone met Russi, their day would always get just a little bit brighter. Not only was she amazingly talented and gifted, but she had a true desire to make the world a better place with the gifts she was blessed with. The world has a lost a real treasure. She will truly be missed, but her voice will live on.”
Her cause of death was not revealed and other details about her death are not clear.