Russi Taylor, voice of Minnie Mouse, dies at 75

Photo: AFP

Russi Taylor, Disney's official voice of Minnie Mouse for more than three decades, has died, the entertainment giant announced Saturday. She was 75.
Taylor, who was prone to giggles just like the character she voiced, captured the heart and sound of Mickey Mouse's counterpart on TV, in cartoons and film, and at theme parks.

"Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor," Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive of The Walt Disney Company, 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.

"We take comfort in the knowledge that her work will continue to entertain and inspire for generations to come," Iger said.

Taylor died in Glendale, California on Friday, Disney said. The company did not give the cause of death.

Taylor had been Disney's pick from a group of 200 candidates at a 1986 audition.

The Massachusetts native said she actually met Walt Disney as a girl, on a visit 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!" she was quoted as saying in a profile released by Disney.

In addition to Minnie Mouse and other Disney characters, Taylor was also the voice of Strawberry Shortcake and Pebbles Flintstone. She worked in television for decades, including on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Simpsons."

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