Adriana Caselotti, the ageless and innocent bell-toned voice of Snow White in Walt Disney's indelible first animated full-length feature "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," has died. She was 80.
Caselotti died Sunday at her Los Angeles residence after suffering from cancer, Disney officials said.
"This is certainly the end of an era for all of us at the studio and for Disney animation lovers the world over," said Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Co. "We really feel as if we've lost a member of the family. Adriana played such an important part in our history and became the true embodiment of that wonderful character."
Growing up in a musical family, Caselotti overheard a call to her father, vocal coach Guido Caselotti, from a Disney casting representative asking about talented voice students. Although about 150 young girls had already auditioned, Disney was still searching for the perfect voice for his young heroine.
"Listen to me--wouldn't my voice do?" Caselotti asked her father.
The 15-year-old got the part. Her gestures as well as her voice were immortalized in the often-reissued 1937 classic, and she repeatedly said the experience was the high point of her life.