Russi Taylor, the voice of Minnie Mouse since the mid-1980s, has died, according to the Walt Disney Company. She was 75.
She died Friday in Glendale, California, Disney said in a statement. The cause of death was not released.
Taylor lent the iconic character her voice for more than three decades, the company said, 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, who was the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1977 until his death in 2009. According to Disney, they met in the mid-1980s before marrying in 1991.
Other Disney roles assumed by Taylor include Nurse Mouse from the 1990 animated tale “The Rescuers Down Under;” Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie; and characters on Disney television shows like “Kim Possible” and “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” the company said.
She also voiced the characters of Martin Prince and the twins Sherri and Terri on “The Simpsons.”
The company quoted Taylor: “I never wanted to be famous. The characters I do are famous, and that’s fine for me.”