We have some sad news to pass along today, as voice actress Russi Taylor has reportedly passed away at the age of 75. Taylor is perhaps best known for voicing Minnie Mouse in a variety of Disney projects for over three decades, but her voice can be heard in many other movies and TV shows as well. At this time, the cause of death and circumstances surrounding her passing are not yet clear.
Taylor's passing was confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger, who says, "Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor." He adds: "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."
Beginning her voice acting career in the early '80s, Taylor took on her most iconic role in 1987 when she first started voicing Minnie Mouse. Her debut as the character was for the TV movie DTV 'Doggone' Valentine, and it's needless to say she was natural in the role. Taylor had continued to lend her voice to Minnie in many TV shows and video games in the years since, also voicing the character in the Hollywood movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Even as recently as this month, Taylor was still playing Minnie in new episodes of Mickey Mouse and Mickey and the Roadster Racers. For most millennials and younger kids from our current generation, it's most likely Taylor's voice that they know best as the Minnie Mouse character.
Big fans of The Simpsons will also be very familiar with Taylor's voice, as the versatile voice actress played many separate characters on the long-running animated series. Notably, she has been providing the voice of Bart's classmate Martin Prince since the very start of the series. One of the most well-known classic episodes of the series features Martin becoming king of the neighborhood when his family buys him a larger swimming pool than the Simpson family's. Taylor also voices the purple-haired twins Sherri and Terri, Bart's classmates Lewis and Wendell, and the German foreign exchange student Üter.
While Taylor had been voicing characters like Minnie Mouse and Martin Prince for 30 years, she had been lending her voice to a variety of other characters as well. On the Disney side of things, Taylor was also voicing Huey, Dewey, and Louie in DuckTales and various other projects. She also voiced Drizell and the Fairy Godmother in the Cinderella sequels Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. Some of her other key roles in her career include The Lion Guard, Teen Titans, My Little Pony, Muppet Babies, and the lead role in Strawberry Shortcake.
Taylor married Mickey Mouse voice actor Wayne Allwine in 1991, becoming a stepmother to his four children. Both were named Disney Legends in 2008, and remained married until Allwin's death in 2009. To Taylor's grieving family and friends, we offer our condolences at this difficult time. We thank her for her contributions, and may she rest in peace. This news comes to us from TMZ.