The voice of Mickey Mouse has been silenced.
Wayne Allwine, who hasportrayed the famous Disney toon character since 1976, died in Los Angeles Monday from complications of diabetes. He was 62.
Allwine was only the third person to voice Mickey. Walt Disney introduced the character in the “Steamboat Willie” short in 1928; he was followed by Jimmy Macdonald, and then came Allwine, who worked under Macdonald as a sound-effects editor.
Allwine’s wife, Russi Taylor, has been the voice of Minnie Mouse since 1986. The couple were married in 1991.
Allwine started in the Disney mail room in 1966; he worked briefly in Wardrobe, then moved into Audio Post Production. In 1977, he won an open audition for the voice of Mickey, making his debut on "The New Mickey Mouse Club" in 1977. He voiced the character in such features as “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and “The Prince and the Pauper.”
In a statement, Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger described a "profound sense of loss and sadness throughout our company" over the death of the man who gave voice to Disney’s most beloved character.”
Among Allwine’s credits as a sound-effects editor are such Disney films as “Splash” and “Three Men and a Baby,” as well as “Innerspace” and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier “ for other studios.
In 1986, he shared an Emmy Award for outstanding sound editing for a series for Steven Spielberg’s "Amazing Stories.” He also won a Golden Reel Award for his work on that series, and a second Golden Reel for his work on 1986’s “The Great Mouse Detective.”