Russi Taylor, the voice of Minnie Mouse since the mid-1980s, has died, according to the Walt Disney Company. She was 75.
Taylor lent the iconic character her voice for more than three decades, Disney said in a statement, taking part in hundreds of projects that included television, film and theme parks.
“Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor,” Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “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.”
Taylor was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 4, 1944, the company said, and had wanted to work for Disney ever since she met its founder and namesake during a childhood trip to Disneyland.
“At one point during our chat, he asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up, and I said, ‘I want to work for you!’ So he said, ‘Okay!’—and now I do,” Disney’s release quoted Taylor as saying.
Taylor was married to Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, until his death in 2009.