Voice actor Russi Taylor has died at the age of 75. She was best known to Disney fans as the voice of Mickey Mouse's female counterpart Minnie Mouse and as the voice of Donald Duck's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie on the DuckTales animated series. She was also the voice of Martin Prince and other characters from The Simpsons.
Disney confirmed the actresses' death according to PEOPLE, with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Big Iger releasing a statement.
Taylor follows her husband and voice of Mickey Mouse, Wayne Alwine, in death and passed in Glendale, California on Friday.
Statement from Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger on the passing of Disney Legend Russi Taylor: pic.twitter.com/4TpSVkT8BE— Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) July 27, 2019
"Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor," Iger wrote in the 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'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," Iger continued in his statement. "Russi will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences."
Taylor voiced Minnie in several projects over her career, including TV, theme parks, animated shorts and some theatrical films according to PEOPLE. The outlet shared a memory of Russi's where she explained her Disney fandom before becoming a member of the team, including her meeting with Walt Disney.
“When I was a little girl, I was with my mom and my brother, and it was late at night at Disneyland. We had just come off the Mark Twain Riverboat and were getting some popcorn. I looked over and saw Walt sitting on a bench, so we introduced ourselves and shared our popcorn with him,” Taylor said. “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!”
Several of Taylor's fans and co-workers shared their thoughts about the actress.
Rest In Peace to Russi Taylor, who gave her voice to dozens of childhood favorites and returned to voice Young Donald for the DT17 Christmas episode. We’ll miss you Russi. pic.twitter.com/xPPIl0UcY1— all i do is win @ the lunaris funeral (@magicadespeII) July 27, 2019
The Simpsons creatives Josh Weinstein and Al Jean both shared tributes to Taylor and her contribution to the series over the years.
"Farewell to the wonderful Russi Taylor, who brought such joy to many of our favorite characters like Martin Prince, Üter and so many more on the Simpsons & Disney & the animated world," Weinstein wrote.
"Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Russi Taylor a true delight to work with," Jean added.0comments
Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy and a longtime friend of Taylor's according to PEOPLE, released a statement of his own following her passing.
“Russi was as close as family; as wonderful, funny, and sweet as Minnie Mouse, and as talented yet humble as you would expect,” Farmer said. “I will deeply and dearly miss her.”