May 6, 1916 – Voice of Snow White and Disney Legend Adriana Caselotti is Born
“…I know that my voice will live forever, and that makes me very happy!”
On May 6, 1916, Adriana Caselotti was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut to a music teacher father and an opera performing mother. Her family moved a lot as a child, following her mother’s career with the Royal Opera Theater of Rome, and Caselotti was educated at the San Getulio Convent. After returning to the United States, Caselotti studied singing under the tutelage of her father. When she was 18-years-old, her father received a phone call from the Disney Studios; they had been unsuccessful after searching for the right actress to voice the lead in their new full-length animation motion picture. While Caselotti’s father was on the phone, Caselotti picked up the extension and managed to speak her way into the role of Snow White. After being selected, she also worked as a live-action reference for the animators. Caselotti’s contract required that, so as not to break the illusion of the character, she was not to appear in any other film or media; Disney eventually relented on this rule, and Caselotti toured promotionally. She would continue to promote the film throughout her life, including re-recording the song “I’m Wishing” for the Snow White Grotto area of Disneyland. In 1994, Caselotti was awarded as a Disney Legend, becoming the first female to be honored in the category of voice acting. She passed away in 1997 from lung cancer at 80.