We regret to report the passing of Disney Legend Russi Taylor at the age of 75. She passed away in Glendale, California on July 26, 2019. No cause of death was immediately released. Her most famous role was as the official voice of Minnie Mouse, which she has had since 1986. She voiced Minnie is films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Runaway Brain, Get a Horse!, and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, as well as several television series, including Mickey MouseWorks, House of Mouse, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and the award-winning Mickey Mouse shorts series for Disney Channel from Disney Television Animation that debuted in 2013. She also voiced Minnie in a variety of other settings including at the Disney Theme Parks.
Other Disney roles included Nurse Mouse in The Rescuers Down Under, as well as Donald’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and their friend Webbigail Vanderquack in the original DuckTales animated series. She also lent her voice to roles on other classic TV animated series like TaleSpin, The Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and Kim Possible; as well as modern favorites that include Sofia the First, The Lion Guard, and Tangled: The Series. She also voiced Martin Prince and twins Sherri and Terri in The Simpsons as well as The Simpsons Movie.
Many know that in the mid-1980s she met the voice of Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine, and ended up falling in love. They were married in 1991 and remained together until his passing in 2009.
According to her official Disney Legend biography, Russi was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 4, 1944, Russi had a desire to work for Disney ever since childhood and once even had the opportunity to express that hope directly to Walt Disney, when she encountered him at Disneyland. Walt himself assured young Russi that her dream would come true.
On a purely personal note – Wayne and Russi had a son who was a fan of Laughing Place many years ago. Through him we met and became friends with Wayne and Russi. The two of them actually came to one of our annual Laughing Place Meets and were the kindest, sweetest, most humble people you could imagine. They stayed to sign every autograph, pose for every picture and gave a touching speech that had everyone in tears. And they always thanked us for the opportunity to be there.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family.
- Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company: “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. 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.”
- Bill Farmer, Voice of Goofy and Pluto: “Russi was as close as family; as wonderful, funny, and sweet as Minnie Mouse, and as talented yet humble as you would expect. I will deeply and dearly miss her.”
- Rick Dempsey, Senior Vice President, Disney Character Voices: “Russi Taylor embodied the character of Minnie Mouse. 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 lost a real treasure. She will truly be missed, but her voice will live on.
- Christopher Willis (composer): “At the start of each session with Russi, we couldn't start recording until she had hugged every single person who was there, and sort of petted all the available beards, the way you'd pet a puppy. She was magical, on and off the screen “
- Al Jean: (Executive Producer and Writer on The Simpsons:): Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Russi Taylor a true delight to work with.
- Mary E McGlynn (Voice Over Directory): Russi was a legend. When she was in the booth, there was no one on earth happier to be there. She loved sharing her stories, she’d talk to any child or adult as Minnie Mouse and the love that radiated from her was infectious. RIP, sweet angel.
- Yeardley Smith (Voice of Lise on The Simpsons): This is the worst news. Russi was an extraordinary talent and such a kind, lovely human being. She will be greatly missed.
- Charlie Adler (Voice actor on many Disney shows): She was one of a kind. As precious,decent & joyful as they come.We worked together on and off for over 30 years.And all of us Tara, Russi, @maileflanagan on Jakers laughed till we cried.Her vast body of work will live on . And her joyful laugh will ring always.
- Matt Selmen (Exec. Producer, The Simpsons): Farewell to the hilarious, huggable Russi Taylor, who every day exploded with love for her characters