Ilene Woods (1929-2010)

The L.A. Times is reporting the passing of Ilene Woods, the voice of Walt Disney’s Cinderella (1950). She died Thursday at age 81. According to the Times obit:

As a favor to songwriters Mack David and Jerry Livingston, she made demo recordings of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes and So This is Love in 1948. The songwriters made their pitch to Walt Disney, who had already auditioned more than 300 singers and wasn’t satisfied with any voices. When he heard Woods, he asked her to audition and she got the role.

Woods was declared a Disney Legend in 2003. Without a doubt, her voice will live on forever.


  • Donald C

    May she rest in peace.

  • Melissa

    She had such a beautiful voice. “So This Is Love” is one of my favorite songs from any Disney film and I think I’ll listen to it in tribute now. Rest in peace, Ilene.

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon Pierce

    I think Katherine Beaumont is the last of the remaining classic Disney voice actresses.

    R.I.P. Woods.

  • AdrianC.

    I believe Mary Costa (voice of Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty”) is still alive as well.

  • Paul Penna

    On the Classic Horror Film Board, Tom Weaver has posted an interview he did with her a few years back:

    http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/topic/31966

  • mbm

    re: Brandon Pierce

    here’s who still alive of the classic Disney voice actresses: Cammie King (Bambi), June Foray (Cinderella as well as numerous Mickey and Donald shorts), Marni Nixon (Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins), Ruth Buzzi (It’s Tough to Be a Bird and The Aristocats), Carole Shelley, and Monica Evans (both from The Aristocats and Robin Hood).

  • http://MrFunsBlog Floyd Norman

    The perfect Cinderella. Walt always knew when the voice was right.

    I was in meetings when the “old man” rejected voice actors. Disney had an uncanny ear for just the right voice.

  • Gerard de Souza

    “I think Katherine Beaumont is the last of the remaining classic Disney voice actresses.”

    Yeh but she didn’t sing well. Disney the man must have been smitten with that little girl to not get a professional singer to do Alice’s singing voice.

  • Inkan1969

    How horrible to hear. Cinderella was my favorite of the original three princesses. She had the most well rounded personality of all the three; she was the one most like a real person. Ilene’s down to earth voicing was a big factor in her believability. Rest in peace.

  • Dave

    The human eyes warp and get too close together on the head a few times in the Cinderella rotoscoping in these scenes. That somehow fell through the cracks and seldom happened in Disney animation in the rest of the 1950′s.

  • Paul N

    I met her once in the mid-90′s. She was a delightful person, and obviously thrilled to be a part of Disney history. A true gem.

  • Brad Constantine

    Great voice…hell, I’d help her make a dress.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Disney’s Cinderella was probably their best story telling ever. The correlation of her shoe with the glass slipper and the clock for her to get to work with the clock for her to leave the Ball was fantastic. Ilene Woods rest in peace.

  • http://GraysonPonti Grayson Ponti

    As silly as this may sound this just might be my favorite song ever made as much as i love rock music. It just really sums up why I love animation and Disney and just how magical a field it is we work in. Anything is possible in it. The song is about happiness,dream and love which perfectly describes myself. So hearing this song today almost made me cry. It reminded me of my intense passion not only for animation but for life itself.

  • Eddie

    “I think Katherine Beaumont is the last of the remaining classic Disney voice actresses.”

    Mary Costa is still alive, although Sleeping Beauty was from 1959, so that might be out of your time frame, but Lucille Bliss who was Anastasia is still alive (and working), as well as June Foray, who was Lucifer. They’re not main characters, but they’re both alive and working.

  • Leirin

    Dickie Jones (Pinocchio) is still with us as well.

    What a shame. She gave voice to a film that shaped my childhood. Her vocal performance is still very impressive– her singing had a lot of joy to it, but a motherly softness as well. May she rest in peace.