Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wayne Allwine: 1947-2009

Sad news from the Magic Kingdom today: Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, died Monday at the age of 62 following complications from diabetes.

Allwine, a former Walt Disney Studios sound effects editor and Foley artist, was only the third person to officially voice the Mouse (following Jimmy MacDonald and the original Mickey, Walt himself) and the one to do so the longest (over 30 years). He began his dream role in 1977, voicing the animated lead-ins for The New Mickey Mouse Club, and had voiced Mickey in everything from theatrical cartoons (Mickey's Christmas Carol), feature films (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), television series (Mickey's Mouse Works), video games (Kingdom Hearts), theme park attractions (Mickey's PhilharMagic) and merchandise ever since.

In a truly sweet instance of life imitating art, Allwine was married to fellow voice actor Russi Taylor, best known as the voice of Minnie Mouse. The two, who wed in 1991, were both named Disney Legends last year.

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