Wayne Allwine, the artiste who voiced Mickey Mouse [ Images ] for over three decades died in Los Angeles early Monday morning, with his wife Russi Taylor, who voices Minnie Mouse, by his side.
The 62-year-old who has been voicing the legendary cartoon character since 1977, died of complications of diabetes at UCLA Medical Center, reported Los Angeles Times.
'Wayne's great talent, deep compassion, kindness and gentle way, all of which shone brightly through his alter ego, will be greatly missed,' Disney chief executive Robert Iger said in a statement.
Allwine who had joined Disney in 1966 as a helper in the mail room, was the third person to voice Mickey Mouse since the iconic cartoon first hit movie theatres in 1928 with the animated movie Steamboat Willie.
The first to voice Mickey was Walt Disney [ Images ] himself and the role was later passed onto the studio's sound effects wizard Jimmy MacDonald. When MacDonald was passing on the reins to Allwine, he famously remarked, 'Just remember kid, you're only filling in for the boss.'
Allwine made his debut voicing the world's most famous mouse on The New Mickey Mouse Club in 1977 and went on to voice for Disney movies, television specials, theme parks, records, toys and video games. Allwine was also a well established sound effects editor and had won an Emmy Award in 1986 for outstanding sound editing for a series for Steven Spielberg's [ Images ] Amazing Stories.