Friday, September 22, 2017
Adriana Caselotti

Adriana Caselotti, was born May 5, 1916 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Adriana was born into an operatic family - her father Guido, an immigrant from Italy, taught music in New York City, her mother Maria (from Naples) sang at the Royal Opera, and a sister Louise was a noted opera singer and voice teacher, who later helped train Maria Callas.

She was 18 when Walt Disney personally choose her from a group of 150 for the voice of Snow White in his first full length animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). He was looking for a fresh and natural voice, and asked her father if any of his students might be suitable, but on hearing Adriana's voice realized his search was over. It was the days of studio contracts and indenture, and Walt wanted to keep the mystery of the Snow White voice, so except for a bit part in The Wizard of Oz (1939) she was in no other film - when Jack Benny wished to have her appear on his radio show, Walt refused - he owned the voice and it could be used nowhere else.

Adriana tried opera singing, and invested in real estate and stock market, while living a full life (four husbands, thrice widowed), always active in the publicity surrounding the many re-releases of Snow White.

In 1987, she began making public appearances for Disney to promote the 50th anniversary edition of Snow White. Caselotti was honored by Disney Studios in 1994 when she received a Disney Legend Award and left her handprints in cement outside the Studio Theatre. She died January 19, 1997 at the age of 80 in her Los Angeles home.