You may never have heard his name, you may never have seen his face, but you have unquestionably heard his voice.
On May 18th, Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse for over 30 years, passed away from complications related to diabetes. Born in 1947, he was 62 years of age. Allwine, who first provided the voice for Mickey in The New Mickey Mouse Club, was only the third voice of Mickey Mouse, the first being Walt Disney himself and the second, Jimmy Macdonald.
After his television debut as the Mouse, Allwine provided Mickey’s voice on the big screen in Mickey’s Christmas Carol. He then went on to voice Mickey in dozens more productions (including the still on-going Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), both on the big screen and the little. And, of course, Allwine voiced Mickey for attractions at Disney parks as well.
Allwine is survived by his wife of 18 years, Russi Taylor. In what may be life imitating art, Taylor provides the voice of Mickey’s true love, Minnie Mouse, and has since 1986.
In a statement on Wednesday, current Disney CEO Robert Iger said “Wayne’s great talent, deep compassion, kindness, and gentle way, all of which shone brightly through his alter ego, will be greatly missed.”
This would-be Mouseketeer certainly agrees.