Will Ryan, a beloved voice actor behind the voice of Petrie in The Land Before Time and several Disney staples, has died at 72. According to Deadline, Ryan's death came as a result of a "short battle of cancer."
His voice acting career kicked off in the 1980s, with The Land Before Time acting as his major breakthrough role. Ryan followed with over 100 voice acting credits and a slew of awards, including an Emmy nomination in 1998.
Disney fans likely remember Ryan as the voice of Willie the Giant in several projects across 35 years, and as Mickey Mouse's antagonist Peg-Leg Pete in countless projects, including a run on Ducktales.
He would also take on the roles of Tigger and Rabbit on Disney Channel's Welcome to Pooh Corner, along with providing the singing voice for Eeyore. His voice can also be heard in classic films like The Little Mermaid, An American Tail, Thumbelina, and classic TV series like G.I. Joe, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Family Guy and many more.
Away from voice acting, Ryan was a longtime Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member and acted as president of the ASIFA international animation organization. He was also an accomplished musician, earning two gold records and some awards for songwriting while fronting his group Will Ryan & The Cactus County Cowboys.
We are devastated to hear the news reported by our friends at @CelebWorx tonight. Legendary voice actor, Will Ryan, has passed. Not only an incredible actor, but a musician & comedian that brightened the world of anyone that knew him. Our love go out to his family & friends.❤️ pic.twitter.com/7OyVn9yUvQ— Voice Chasers (@voicechasers) November 20, 2021
He would also put his voice talents to work by writing and recording songs as characters or for characters beloved by fans worldwide, including Mickey Mouse, The Grinch and Winnie the Pooh. Ryan was also a published author, with a memoir titled Duke and Me, the book Adventures in Oddity, and The Tiny Little Book of Cowboy Haiku.
Ryan leaves behind his wife, Niparko Ryan, his sisters Patty Ryan and Marsha Ryan Russo, and a brother, George Ryan. Rest in peace and thanks for the iconic characters.