Russi Taylor, the actress best known for more than three decades as the voice of the cartoon character Minnie Mouse, has died at the age of 75. Taylor passed away on Friday at her home in Glendale, Southern California, according to a statement released on Saturday by Walt Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger.
The cause of her death was not immediately revealed.
“Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor,” Iger said. “For more than 30 years, Minnie and Russi worked together to entertain millions around the world.”
“We’re so grateful for Russi’s talent as well as the tremendous spirit and great joy she brought to everything she did,” the statement continued. “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,” the statement concluded
Statement from Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger on the passing of Disney Legend Russi Taylor: pic.twitter.com/4TpSVkT8BE
— Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) July 27, 2019
— Disney (@Disney) July 27, 2019
Who was Russi Taylor?
Taylor was born on May 4, 1944.
She was best known as the voice of the iconic Disney character Minnie Mouse since the late 1980s. She auditioned for the role in 1986 and was selected from 200 candidates. She was first credited as the voice of Minnie in a TV show that aired in 1987.
Most fans of Minnie the Mouse born in the late 1980s and after haven’t known any other voice for the character besides Russi’s, as she continued to voice Minnie until 2019.
She accumulated more than 80 credits as Minnie the Mouse during more than 30 years of working on Disney projects. Her Disney film credits include Who Framed Rabbit? (1998), Runaway Brain (1995), Mickey Mouse Works (1999-2000), House of Mouse (2001-2002), Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004), Get a Horse! (2013), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006-2016), and Mickey and the Roadster Racers (2017).
She also voiced other Disney characters, such as Nurse Mouse in The Rescuers Down Under (1990). She played Huey, Dewey, and Louie, in the animated Duck Tales (1987-1990) series.
She also played voice acting roles in other Disney cartoons, including Pebbles on The Flintstone Comedy Show (1980), the Mackleberry Twins (Sherri and Terri), and Martin Prince on The Simpsons. She voiced several other characters in cartoon shows, such as the voice of Fergie Furbelow in The Jetsons (1980) and Baby Gonzo in Muppet Babies (1984).
Russi Taylor tributes on social media
Colleagues and fans have been paying tribute to the late Disney legend on social media.
Sad news just happened. Minnie Mouse’s voice actress Russi Taylor sadly passed away at 74. And the last thing we heard from her was this amazing song she sang to Mickey. Now she’s up in heaven with Wayne singing their hearts out together!?? pic.twitter.com/R07o9PlH3E
— Jessica McCartney (@JesslmcJessica) July 27, 2019
— Al Jean (@AlJean) July 27, 2019
JUST IN: Disney Legend Russi Taylor, the official voice of Minnie Mouse since 1986, has died ?
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 27, 2019
RIP to the legendary Russi Taylor, voice of Martin, Sherri and Terri and Uter.
A vital part of Simpsons history pic.twitter.com/VHJFvTJSeE
— Ireland Simpsons Fans (@iresimpsonsfans) July 27, 2019
Farewell to the wonderful Russi Taylor, who brought such joy to many of our favorite characters like Martin Prince, Üter and so many more on the Simpsons & Disney & the animated world. #RIPRussiTaylor pic.twitter.com/TdTpNy7Vj3
— Josh Weinstein (@Joshstrangehill) July 27, 2019
So sad to learn of Russi Taylor’s passing. Thank you for sharing your voice to the world and giving life to iconic characters. Minnie and the gang will miss you ❤️#RipRussiTaylor pic.twitter.com/UHG0akA7vx
— Cheryl (@Masspearl) July 27, 2019
In light of Russi Taylor‘s passing i’d like to remind everyone of her very real relationship with Mickey Mouse voice actor Wayne Allwine.
It was in fact through being cast as these characters that the pair fell in love and eventually married. pic.twitter.com/WVM0klAVWc
— G-Zus (Slant16Gamer) (@Slant16Gamer) July 27, 2019
Russi was married to Mickey Mouse voice actor Wayne Allwine
Taylor met Mickey Mouse voice actor Wayne Allwine while she worked with Disney as the voice of Minnie. They married in 1991 and remained together until Allwine, who first voiced Mickey Mouse in 1977, died from complications of diabetes in 2009.
The couple did not have any children.