Disney voice actor dies aged 72 – The Hollywood Reporter

Will Ryan, the veteran actor who voices Petrie in Universal’s cartoons Land before time and Willie the Giant in Mickey Mouse Club, passed away on November 19 after a short battle with cancer. He is 72 years old.

Ryan’s death has been confirmed as The Hollywood Reporter by his talent agent, Nery Lemus. “The world is a little less bright tonight with the passing of Will Ryan,” Lemus wrote in a statement. “Many of you know him as a Disney icon, voice legend, gun-wielding cowboy, musician/musician, a brilliant comedian, along with an even list of credits. doesn’t even touch on the essence of what he’s accomplished… he’s my friend. ”

Lemus continued: “For those who don’t know him, he is a beauty. He was forgiving. His humility is timeless. He has dedicated his entire life to helping others and the loss his friends and family feel tonight would be a tragic understatement. He is a beautiful soul and I am honored to know him, let alone represent him. I cannot find all the words that can express what he means to our company CelebWorx and the rest of the world in which he has touched his talent. ”

Born in 1949, Ryan began his performing career as a voiceover for short animated projects including Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore and the Oscar-nominated animated film Mickey’s Christmas Carol. He went on to have a recurring role in GI Joe: Cobra’s Revenge, GI Joe and Dumbo’s Circus.

In 1988, Ryan voiced Petrie in Universal’s animated adventure film, Land before time, which has become a children’s classic. Also in the 80s, he voiced roles in Teen werewolf, DuckTales, The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin and The Smurfs. He has played the Willie Giant in many Disney projects over the decades, such as Mickey Mouse Club and Mouse’s House, and has made several appearances in shows from Adventures in the Odyssey, a weekly radio series in which Ryan performs over 100 characters; come Family boy.

In 1998, Ryan was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Nickelodeon The Magical World of Dr. Seuss, in which he wrote and produced the credits. Among his 100 credits there is also a funny project The Adventures of Biffle and Shooter, in which Nick Santa Maria starred. Ryan also appeared in the informational series, Tell Ya later, with Katie Leigh.

Ryan is a longtime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and served as the previous president of ASIFA, an international animation organization.

As a musician, Will Ryan and the Cactus County Cowboys have released five records and he often performs with the Saguaro Sisters at Autry’s Museum of Western Heritage. Ryan has also written numerous songs for the Jim Henson Company, many of which were recorded by familiar Disney characters. He has two Gold Records from the Recording Industry Association of America and a Pioneer Award from BMI for his songwriting.

The actor is still alive with his wife, Niparko Ryan, and siblings Patty Ryan, Marsha Ryan Russo and George Ryan.

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