Will Ryan, who has been a Disney voice staple for over 40 years has sadly passed away at 72. Ryan passed away last night after a short battle with cancer.
“The world is a little less bright tonight with the passing of Will Ryan,” wrote his talent agent, Nery Lemus in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “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 that don’t even touch the essence of what he accomplished… he was my friend.”
Lemus continued: “For those who didn’t know him, he was a beautiful person. He was selfless. His humility was endless. He spent his entire life helping others and the loss his friends and family feel tonight would be a tragic understatement. He 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.”
For Disney, Ryan voiced Willie the Giant from 1983 until his death in 2021. He started voicing the character in Mickey’s Christmas Carol, where he also voiced Pete. He also voiced Rabbit, Tigger, and Eeyore’s singing voice in the Disney Channel’s long-running series Welcome to Pooh Corner and in many other Pooh cartoons. In addition, he voiced Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore after the death of Junius Matthews in 1978. He also provided the voice of Barnaby the Dog in the popular series Dumbo’s Circus. In 1985, he voiced Unwin and a hunter in the Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
Ryan also wrote and recorded several songs for Disney in many films and television projects. The most notable is the album “Goin’ Quackers”, which he co-wrote with Phil Baron.
The DisInsider sends their thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.