Marcellite Garner

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Marcellite Garner
Marcellite Garner.jpg
Born (1910-07-03)July 3, 1910
Redlands, California, USA
Died July 26, 1993(1993-07-26) (aged 83)
Grass Valley, California, USA
Nationality American
Occupation Artist
Voice actress
Years active 1930 – 1941
Known for Voice of Minnie Mouse

Marcellite Wall /mɑr.sɛ.ˈlit/ (née Garner; July 3, 1910 – July 26, 1993) was an American artist and voice actress. She is most remembered as the first regular voice of Minnie Mouse during her time working at Walt Disney Productions and has been partially credited with defining Minnie's personality.[1]

Early life[edit]

Garner was born in Redlands, California in 1910. She attended night classes at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles where she studied art.[1]

Work at Disney[edit]

Garner started working at Walt Disney Productions on February 17, 1930 after interviewing the previous year. She worked in the ink and paint department, first working as a cel painter and later as an inker. The studio at the time was a small organization of about 35 employees.

After Garner had been working about six months, she auditioned for the voice of Minnie Mouse at the studio's sound stage, then located on Melrose Avenue. Because Minnie was to play a Mexican in the upcoming film The Cactus Kid, Burt Gillett had asked the Ink and Paint department, which was entirely women, if anyone could speak Spanish. Only Garner and another woman responded, and when the other woman was unwilling to sing, Garner was cast for the role. She went on to voice Minnie in more than 40 films over a decade. Occasionally Garner also provided additional voices, such as cat meows (Three Orphan Kittens, Lend a Paw), dog barking, and crowd noises.

During the Disney animators' strike of 1941, Garner shot home movies of the picket lines in color. Some of this footage appears in the 2001 documentary Walt – The Man Behind the Myth. Garner was sympathetic to the studio during the strike, commenting "I couldn't see that we were not being treated fairly. People weren't so union oriented then I guess." She described the atmosphere at the studio as "one big family" before the studio was unionized.

Garner worked at the Disney studio off and on for 12 years, during which she also did work for some other studios, including Walter Lantz Productions.[1]

After Disney[edit]

Garner eventually married Richard B. Wall and started a family. In 1941 she permanently quit her job at Disney to devote more time to her children. The family later moved north to Los Gatos where she again worked in the cartoon business, producing a newspaper comic strip called El Gato for the Los Gatos Times–Observer.

During this time she also worked on different kinds of painting mediums and ceramics. Some of her artwork she gave to friends, and others she donated to charities and church bazaars.[2]

She died in 1993 in Grass Valley, California.

Filmography[3][edit]

Preceded by
Marjorie Norton Ralston
Voice of Minnie Mouse
1930–1941
Succeeded by
Thelma Boardman

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Peri, Don (2008). Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-934110-67-1. 
  2. ^ Inking at Disney, circa 1931 at MichaelBarrier.com
  3. ^ Marcellite Garner at the Internet Movie Database