Will Ryan, the veteran voice actor known for breathing life into such classic Disney characters as Willie the Giant and Peg-Leg Pete, passed away Friday afternoon at the age of 72 following a short battle with cancer.
- Will Ryan’s passing was confirmed to Deadline by his CelebWorx agent, Nery Lemus.
- Ryan was born on May 21, 1949 and embarked on his voice acting career in the 1980s, finding a breakthrough role in the pteranodon Petrie from Universal’s animated classic, The Land Before Time.
- He’d go on to amass more than 100 screen credits in his nearly four-decade career, nabbing nominations from the Annie Awards and the WGA Awards, and winning a Behind the Voice Actor Award.
- Ryan voiced Willie the Giant for The Walt Disney Company in numerous projects over a 35-year period, last doing so in 2020.
- He voiced Peg-Leg Pete in the Oscar-nominated animated short Mickey’s Christmas Carol, reprising the role 30 years later in the Mickey Mouse short, Get a Horse!, which was also nominated for an Oscar. He also voiced Pete, among others, in the beloved Disney Afternoon series DuckTales, and portrayed several, including a herd of Ogres, in The Adventure of the Gummi Bears.
- Ryan also had the opportunity to portray Tigger and Rabbit, and to provide the singing voice of Eeyore, for the long-running Disney Channel series Welcome to Pooh Corner, which aired twice a day for 17 years.
- Throughout his career, Ryan also lent his voice to such classic animated films as The Little Mermaid, An American Tail, Thumbelina and A Troll in Central Park, along with multiple animated series.