We are incredibly saddened to report on the passing of Disney legend, Russi Taylor. Among many things she gave to The Walt Disney Company, she gave the iconic character of Minnie Mouse a voice. Not only did she give everyone a voice to the fashionista that they have come to know and love through parks, toys, and television, but she has also given a voice to many things you may have not even known she was apart of!
Ever since Russi was a little girl, she had aspired to be part of the Disney legacy. That dream became a reality when she beat out 200 other auditioners in 1986 for the role of the beloved Minnie Mouse. She would go on to voice Minnie in the films 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.
As she took on the role, she got to know the voice of Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine, who had stepped into the yellow shoes in 1977. They quickly fell in love and had become absolutely inseparable until Wayne’s death in 2009. The pair were a true Minnie and Mickey Mouse and embodied the Disney fairytale that fans could only imagine.
Russi Taylor made an incredible impact, not only on fans but her colleagues that she worked with on a daily basis.
Statements from Russi’s friends and family
“Russi was as close as family; as wonderful, funny, and sweet as Minnie Mouse, and as talented yet humble as you would expect,” said Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy and a longtime friend of Russi. “I will deeply and dearly miss her.”
“Russi Taylor embodied the character of Minnie Mouse,” remembers 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 lost a real treasure. She will truly be missed, but her voice will live on.”
Today, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger released his official statement that read as follows, “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.”
Russi’s other Disney voices have 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. Her non-Disney roles include Strawberry Shortcake, Baby Gonzo (of Muppet Babies fame), Pebbles Flintstone, Duchess the Cat in the film Babe, and Ferny Toro in Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks. She also provided the voice of Martin Prince and the twins, Sherri and Terri, on more than 100 episodes of The Simpsons, as well as the blockbuster feature The Simpsons Movie.
We are incredibly saddened to hear of Russi Taylor’s passing and we send love to her family and close friends.
Do you have any special memories of Russi Taylor? We would love to hear your stories of joy and love as we remember her legacy.