Mouseketeer Ginny Tyler, voice artist and Issaquah resident, dies

July 24, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Ginny Tyler

Disney legend Ginny Tyler — a former head Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and a noted voice artist — died July 13 in Issaquah.

Tyler, 86, a resident at the Providence Marianwood assisted-care facility, maintained a lifelong pride in TV and film roles for Disney. In addition to succeeding Annette Funicello on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” Tyler provided the voice for a pair of squirrels in the Disney classic “The Sword in the Stone” and, for 20th Century Fox, as Polynesia the Parrot in the original “Doctor Dolittle.”

“It was so thrilling to work for Walt Disney,” Tyler recalled in a 2010 interview with The Issaquah Press. “People would say, ‘Get that voice girl!’”

Born in Berkeley, Calif., Tyler grew up in Seattle and earned a drama degree at the University of Washington. She hosted a children’s program on KOMO, and then headed for Hollywood and started narrating albums for Disney as the Disneyland Storyteller.

Ginny Tyler at Disneyland

Tyler also narrated vinyl recordings adapted from “Bambi” and other classic Disney tales. In addition, she developed a chilling wicked witch voice. Disney used Tyler’s cackle in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” attractions at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Tyler can also be heard as a Tiki Goddess in the preshow for Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room.

“One day I was at Disneyland with Walt,” Tyler recalled in the 2004 book “How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life.” “I was going on and on about how perfect and beautiful the park was. As I was raving away to Walt about how wonderful Disneyland was, he said, ‘And that goes for my Disneyland Storyteller, too.’ That was me. I have never felt prouder in my entire life.’”

Tyler maintained a lifelong affinity for Disney. Other Providence Marianwood residents remembered Tyler for the gold-colored mouse ears she sometimes donned.

In 2006, Disney executives inducted Tyler into Disney Legends, a hall-of-fame program established in 1987 to honor individuals for lasting contributions to the Walt Disney Co. Other honorees in Tyler’s induction class included TV newsman Peter Jennings and Sir Elton John.

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