Minnie Mouse & The Simpsons’ Martin Prince voice actor Russi Taylor dies at 75. Taylor was the voice of numerous iconic characters throughout her lengthy career, but perhaps her most beloved efforts were those of Minnie Mouse and Martin Prince.
For those who grew up in the 1980s and 90s, Taylor was an indelible part of animated programming. Her debut came in 1980 as the voice of Strawberry Shortcake in the TV movie The World of Strawberry Shortcake, and from that point on she became the voice of a vast array of characters, including Pebbles Flintstone; several My Little Pony characters in the My Little Pony and Friends TV series; famed ducklings Huey, Duey and Louie in Ducktales and Minnie Mouse in a variety of animated Disney specials. In later years and up to the present, Taylor was a semi-regular cast member of The Simpsons, voicing the aforementioned Prince, as well as bratty twins Sherri and Terri and hilarious exchange student Üter Zörker.
The unfortunate news that Taylor has passed away at the age of 75 comes to us courtesy of TV Line. Taylor had been battling colon cancer and her death comes almost exactly 10 years after her husband Wayne Allwine, who had been the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1991 until his death in 2009. Responding to the news of Taylor’s death, Disney CEO Bob Iger released the following 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. Russi will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences.
The Simpsons’ official Twitter hosted tributes to Taylor, from Simpsons executive producers Al Jean and Matt Selman, with fans offering their own condolences and tributes to Taylor as well. And while The Simpsons is getting set to release season 31 at the end of September, many fans are left wondering if Taylor’s passing will mean the end of the road for the characters that she was responsible for, particularly Prince. The Simpsons producers have previously retired characters as a result of actors’ deaths, as was the case in 2013 when Marcia Wallace, who was the voice of Mrs. Krabappel, passed away.
Exactly what the future holds for The Simpsons characters that Taylor voiced is currently unknown. It would certainly be a shame to see such characters as Martin, Sherri and Terri and Üter take a permanent leave from the series, but at the same time, without the voice of Taylor behind them, one has to wonder if the same magic and humor would still thrive. Taylor was one of a kind and brought joy to so many that retiring her characters almost seems to be the most respectful thing to do at this point.
Rest in Peace Russi Taylor: May 4, 1944 – July 26, 2019
Source: TV Line