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Disney Villains, Ladies, & Leading Men!! Original Models & Voices

Updated on May 1, 2010

Eleanor Audley

 In the animated film industry she was best known as the voices and Live action models of the evil stepmother Lady Tremaine  in the Disney animated film Cinderella  and the wicked fairy Maleficent in Disney's Sleeping Beauty . For both films, the animator created the characters' facial features to resemble Audley. Eleanor Audley initially turned down the choice role of Malificent because she was battling tuberculosis.

She also provided the voice of Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion attractions in DisneyLand and DisneyWorld, speaking the memorable lines, "Rap on a table. It's time to respond. Send us a message from somewhere beyond!"

Lucille La Verne

 She made her motion picture debut in 1914. Her best known part is that of the voice of the Wicked Queen, and her alter ego, the old corne from Disney's 1937 Snow White. She was also the Disney artists' model for the old crone that the Queen transforms herself into in order to give Snow White the poisoned apple.

Kathryn Beaumont

Beaumont was cast as both the voice and live-action model for Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Walt Disney's 1951 animated feature based on from the famous Lewis Carroll book. After Alice, Disney and his studio set their sights on adapting another celebrated piece of English literature, Peter Pan. Disney again turned to Beaumont, then 13 years old, to voice and act out the part of Wendy Darling, the eldest of three siblings who accompany the eternally young title hero to the adventurous Neverland.

Afterwards, Beaumont would essentially retire from acting to attend high school, then college, en route to becoming an elementary school teacher. Nevertheless, her few years in Hollywood -- specifically, her performances as two inquisitive British girls who embark on fantastic journeys -- left her with an indelible legacy. More than 50 years since holding the leading roles, Beaumont's contributions are fondly recalled as an integral part of Disney Animation's second golden age.

In reconnecting with the studio, Beaumont has had a chance to again lend her voice to her two most beloved characters. From the Alice in Wonderland dark ride and nightly Fantasmic! show in Disneyland to this decade's TV series "House of Mouse" and video game Kingdom Hearts, Beaumont has brought an authenticity to new recordings for her time-tested heroines. In 1998, she was named a Disney Legend.

Bobby Driscoll

 Driscoll started his journey with Disney in 1946 his last major success, Peter Pan, was produced largely between May 1949 and mid-1951. Driscoll was cast opposite Disney's "Little British Lady" Kathryn Beaumont,  he was used as the reference model for the close-ups and provided Peter Pan's voice, while dancer and choreographer Roland Dupree was the model for the character's motion. Scenes were played on an almost empty sound stage with only the most essential props, and filmed for use by the illustrators.

Lisa Davis

 As a child, Lisa Davis was discovered by Walt Disney and brought from England to America to contend for the title role of Alice in Wonderland. While she didn't get the part, Walt later called on Davis to join the animated classic 101 Dalmatiansas the voice and live-action reference model for Anita Radcliff (even though she was originally brought in to read for the role of Cruella De-vIlle),Anita was the woman who along with her dalmatian Perdita becomes part of a family which soon spawns more than a dozen puppies.

Bill Shirley

 American actor/singer of stage and screen "Bill Shirley" appeared in a few routine programmers of the 1940s. However he is best known for providing the voice and inspiration of Prince Philip in 1959's "Sleeping Beauty". He was also the characters live action model.  Now on one level you can marvel at the acting craft that enabled Bill Shirley to appear heroic while mounted on a barrel stuck to a wooden frame. At the same time, you really have to appreciate Walt's animators' dedication to their craft: how far they would go to get things right. Gotta love disney

Verna Felton

 Felton was a popular actress at the Walt Disney Studios and MGM Studios,She poviede the live action modeling to Cinderellas Fairy Godmother & Sleeping Beautys Fairy Flora as well as lending her voice to several other animated features, including:

Dumbo (1941) as The Matriarch Elephant / Mrs. Jumbo (Jumbo Jr.)

Cinderella (1950) as the Fairy Godmother

Alice in Wonderland (1951) as the Queen of Hearts

Peter Pan (1953) as the Squaw

Lady and the Tramp (1955) as Aunt Sarah

Sleeping Beauty (1959) as Flora

Goliath II (1960) as Eloise the Elephant

The Jungle Book (1967) as Winifred the Elephant

Felton died of a stroke on the evening of December 14, 1966, only hours before the death of Walt Disney early the following morning. She is buried in Glendale's Grand View Memorial Park.


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