Many people were stunned today with the tragic news that legendary voice actress Russi Taylor had passed away at the age of 75. While she might be most recognized for her work as the iconic voice of Minnie Mouse for the last few decades, she's also played countless roles in her time in the recording booth, including her iconic role of Martin Prince throughout the last 30 years on The Simpsons.
Executive producer Al Jean took to social media to praise the actress who gave life to the most eloquent nerd in Springfield, expressing condolences for the tragic loss
Taylor also provided the voices for many other characters on The Simpsons including the twins Sherri and Terri, as well as the German exchange student Uter Zorker.
After Taylor's, many fans are curious about how The Simpsons will proceed with the character of Martin, if at all. When actress Marcia Wallace passed away in October 2013, Jean and the other producers made the decision to retire her character of Mrs. Krabappel, who was one of the most prominent side-characters in the series tenure. That situation was somewhat unique, as it was the only character Wallace voices with regularity on the series.
The Simpsons also retired Lunchlady Doris for a few years after the passing of actress Doris Grau, though she has since returned to the series as voiced by cast member Tress MacNeille.
It will likely be a long and thoughtful conversation between the producers of The Simpsons as they decide how to move forward with the character of Martin Prince and Taylor's other roles, but rest assured the town of Springfield suffered a major loss with her passing.
Disney CEO Bob Iger also issued a statement recognizing Taylor's prominent career, paying tribute to her long and iconic run as a voice actress.
"Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor," said Iger. "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."