Ilene Woods, the almost ethereal voice of Walt Disney’s Cinderella passed away last Thursday, July 1, 2010. She was 81 years old.
Already the star of a musical radio show, Ilene recorded a few songs for songwriters Mack David and Jerry Livingston, friends of hers. Unbeknown to her, the songs were for the upcoming Walt Disney animated feature Cinderella due to be released in 1950.
Walt Disney listened to the demo records for the songs and chose Miss Woods to not only voice the singing part of Cinderella, but also the talking pieces as well. This would prove to be her only venture into movies and records as she became a full-time mother a few years later when her third child was born. She did, however, make a few television appearances before her retirement.
Ilene succumbed to causes related to Alzheimer’s disease at a nursing home in Canoga Park, Los Angeles. She was survived by her husband Ed Shaughnessy, their son, a daughter from her first marriage as well as three grandchildren.