The Walt Disney company confirmed the news of her passing on Sunday 28 July. She died from colon cancer in Glendale, California at age 75.
The company said in a statement: “Through countless effervescent performances, Russi always showed an incredible talent for entertaining and improvisation. While she brought to life an illustrious cast of beloved characters during a career that spanned nearly four decades, Russi is best known as the official voice of Minnie Mouse. She first assumed the role more than 30 years ago and has given voice to Minnie in hundreds of Disney projects—from television, to theme park experiences, animated shorts, and theatrical films—no performance was too tough for Russi’s accomplished take on the divine Miss Minnie Mouse.”
Taylor also played characters in The Simpsons, including Bart’s dorky classmate Martin. She also appeared in Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams, playing Fauna and Sofia the First, alongside her Simpsons castmates, Tress MacNeille and Frank Welker. She was nominated for an Emmy for her voice work in PBS’ series Jakers! in 2006 and also voiced a witch in the second Scooby-Doo movie, Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King.
She married actor Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse until his death in 2009. They were both named Disney Legends in 2008.
“Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at The Walt Disney Company. “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 honour 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.”
Tributes began pouring in for the actress all over social media during the weekend:
The world is a little less magical today. Russi Taylor, voice of Minnie Mouse has passed away. She was so kind & talented. Here is a video of her calling my daughter when she found out her favorite character was Minnie. Thank you for all the smiles, Ms Taylor! #RIPRussiTaylor pic.twitter.com/QC4iKOjtD7
— Ricky Roxburgh (@RickyRoxburgh) July 28, 2019
My heart is broken. You will never meet a woman as sweet, generous, talented & luminescent as #RussiTaylor. I first met her when we did #PigglyWinks together. She would sit beside me and let me wear all her fancy rings. Then she would point through the glass to her husband Wayne
— tara strong (@tarastrong) July 27, 2019
Never was there a more perfect piece of casting than #RussiTaylor as the voice of Minnie mouse. The sweetness and enthusiasm were genuine… And she and her late husband Wayne Allwine (who voiced Mickey) were a match made in heaven. #MinnieMouse #RestInPeace pic.twitter.com/IjfRL1eBOi
— Leonard Maltin (@leonardmaltin) July 28, 2019
— Brianne (@potatofarmgirl) July 28, 2019
Farewell to the hilarious, huggable Russi Taylor, who every day exploded with love for her characters pic.twitter.com/VOCUixGUHI
— Matt Selman (@mattselman) July 28, 2019
I’m so upset to hear about Russi Taylor… Her talent in voice work touched so many peoples’ hearts for so many years. It’s so difficult to process that she’s gone… Thank you for sharing your talent with the world, Russi ❤️ pic.twitter.com/nBdJkGYvUy
— kolbi 🌸 (@PixieSphere) July 27, 2019
Legendary voice actress Russi Taylor, known for her work as Minnie Mouse and other Disney characters has passed away 75 pic.twitter.com/pJPyhsApqO
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 28, 2019
— Maja Moldenhauer (@MajaMoldenhauer) July 28, 2019
Source: Capricorn Review