Contrary to previous speculation that Simpsons characters like Martin Prince might be retired after the death of Russi Taylor, the prolific voice actress best known for her role as Minnie Mouse, it would seem the roles have instead been recast. Simpsons showrunner and executive producer Al Jean today revealed that Grey DeLisle-Griffin will voice the characters going forward.
Grey DeLisle-Griffin (alternatively credited as Grey DeLisle or Grey Griffin) is no stranger to voice acting. She's provided voices for the likes of Young Justice, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, DC Super Hero Girls, and perhaps most famously, she provided the voice for Azula in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Taylor had previously provided the voice of Prince as well as characters like Sherri and Terri. She passed away on Friday, July 26th, at the age of 75. While there was no question that Minnie Mouse would find a new voice, Simpsons has handled such things differently in the past.
Broadly speaking, the death of a Simpsons voice actor or actress often coincided in the past with essentially writing them off the show. Characters like Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure, and Edna Krabappel have all either faded into the background or died within the canon of the show after the deaths of Phil Hartman and Marcia Wallace, respectively. It's unclear what caused the decision to instead recast this time around.
"Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor," Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said earlier this year. "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," Iger continued. "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."
According to Jean, Grey DeLisle-Griffin will appear as the new voice of Martin, Sherri, and Terri in tonight's new episode of The Simpsons.