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Veteran Disney voice actor, Will Ryan, died at the age of 72. He was the voice of Petrie in “The Land Before Time” and Willie the Giant in Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” His talent agent Nery Lemus confirmed he died on Nov. 19, 2021, after a short battle with cancer.
In a statement, Lemus wrote, “The world is a little less bright tonight with the passing of Will Ryan. As much as he was known to many of you as a Disney icon, voice-over legend, gun twirling cowboy, musician/songwriter, a brilliant comedic actor, along with a list of credits…” He added that Ryan was his “friend.”
Ryan was born on May 21, 1949, in Cleveland, Ohio. His career first began as a musician. He and Phil Baron created the comedic singing group Willio & Phillio. Later, they moved to California where they wrote and recorded wacky songs for Disneyland Records.
Soon afterward, Ryan began providing voices for many of Disney’s characters. A few years later, he became one of the company’s top voice actors. His adaptability and exceptional talents made him an indispensable voice actor on top of being a gifted composer, writer, and musician.
Lemus described him as “a beautiful person” who “was selfless.” He added, “He spent his entire life helping others and the loss his friends and family feel tonight would be a tragic understatement.” Lemus stated that Ryan “was a beautiful soul and I was honored to just know him, let alone represent him. I can’t find all the words that would express what he meant to our company CelebWorx, and the rest of the world he touched with his talent.”
After news of his death broke, many took to social media to pay their respects. Trafon(s Backup Account) tweeted, ” RIP to voice actor Will Ryan. He was 72. He was the president of ASIFA and did many voice roles. Digit in An American Tail, Petrie in The Land Before Time, Pete on DuckTales, and more. He will be dearly missed.”
He is survived by his wife, family, and close friends. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The Hollywood Reporter: Will Ryan, Veteran Disney Voice Actor, Dies at 72; by Trilby Beresford
IMDb: Will Ryan
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