This is especially sad:
Wayne Allwine, the actor who voiced Mickey Mouse for more than 30 years, has died.
The Walt Disney Co. says Allwine died Monday of complications from diabetes, with Russi Taylor, his wife of 20 years and the voice of Minnie Mouse, by his side. He was 62.
"Wayne dedicated his entire professional life to Disney," chief executive Robert Iger said in a statement Wednesday. "Over the last 32 years, (he) gave so much joy, happiness and comfort to so many around the world by giving voice to our most beloved, iconic character, Mickey Mouse."
A Southern California native, Allwine joined Disney in 1966 when he took a job in the mail room. He went on to work in the sound effects department and began voicing the company's main mouse in 1977.
His falsetto can be heard in 1983's "Mickey's Christmas Carol," 1988's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and at Disney theme parks around the world. He won an Emmy Award in 1986 for his sound editing on the NBC series "Amazing Stories." ...
This hits me hard for a simple reason. When I was a week out of high school, I teamed up with Wayne Allwine in the Disney print shop.
We were both traffic boys. I was eighteen, Wayne was twenty. I was a gawky, pimply-faced teenager with a spotty work record (I'd been fired from the Montrose Public Library six months before), Wayne was a rock musician with several hit records behind him. (He was a member of The Arrows -- as in, "Davey Allen and the Arrows" -- and had toured and recorded.)
But here we were, side by side at a print shop work table, wrapping packages and running out to make deliveries all day long. Wayne was the funniest human being I had ever met. He told hilarious stories about doing rock and roll. He performed dead-on impressions of the other traffic boys (the humor of which which doesn't translate well to a blog 42 years later; you would have had to have been there). He made fun of current events, joked with the print shop guys, found the funny side of freaking everything. He was just a non-stop circus main event, and I looked forward to coming in and wrapping packages every summer day of 1967, because Wayne would be there to entertain everyone within earshot, and I (oh lucky me) was the closest.
Wayne's dream back then was to be an editor and a sound guy, goals that he achieved in the course of a long career. Becoming the Voice of Mr. Mouse was not then on his radar; at least, he didn't voice the goal to me.
Though I went off to college at the end of the summer and Wayne stayed on at Disney, we intersected numerous times over the years. When I returned to the studio in the late seventies, Wayne was in the sound department ... and grousing that the studio wouldn't give him a shot at being a film editor. One day he said to me that the only way he would get to be an editor was if he left and did it someplace else, which he ultimately did.
But Wayne was first and foremost a Disney guy, and after he'd earned his place on the editors' roster at another company, he came back to the studio. And at some point in there he became the voice of Mickey Mouse, a job he did with humor and sure-footed professionalism for decades.
But then why the hell not? Anybody who could spin jokes all day long while wrapping tightly-creased packages of eight by eleven letter-bond paper could perform a pitch-perfect Mickey Mouse in his sleep.
So good night, Mr. Allwine. It was a rare pleasure knowing you, there in the Disney print shop. It really doesn't seem that long ago.