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Meet Adriana Caselotti: Voice of Walt Disney's Snow White

Updated on August 23, 2017

Who Is Adriana Caselotti? She WAS Snow White!

Adriana Caselotti was hired at the age of 18 to voice Snow White when Walt Disney went looking for someone who could hit the high notes required in opera but who could also sing and speak like a child.

When Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was produced, it was known as Disney's Folly because it was the first full-length animated movie ever made. Walt Disney went ahead and made it despite the controversy. He spared no expense and the movie went on to become one of Disney's most famous movies, to make plenty of money and to help create the Disney Studio we all know and love today.But what of Adriana Caselotti?

How much was she paid for beingthe voice of Snow White?

Was it enough?

For generations past, present and future, Adriana Caselotti IS Snow White.

Adriana Caselotti Signed and Sold Many Autographs

Adriana Caselotti and Snow White
Adriana Caselotti and Snow White

Fast Facts About Adriana Caselotti

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Fantastically remastered blu-ray disc or DVD.

"One of the brightest nuggets from Disney's golden age, this 1937 film is almost dizzying in its meticulous construction of an enchanted world, with scores of major and minor characters, each with a distinct identity.When you watch Snow White's intricate, graceful movements of fingers, arms, and head all in one shot, it is not the technical brilliance of Disney's artists that leaps out at you, but the very spirit of her engaging, girl-woman character.It's a crowning achievement and should not be missed." -Tom Keogh

Do you think Adriana Caselotti was paid enough for voicing Snow White?

Now that you know how much she was paid, here's some background information

It is reported that Walt Disney paid Miss Caselotti $20 per day for her role as the voice of Snow White, an amount which totalled $970.

It is also said that Walt Disney blacklisted Adriana Caselotti from appearing in ANY OTHER MOVIES in order to protect the illusion of Snow White.Miss Caselotti did eventually appear in The Wizard of Oz as the voice of Juliet in the Tin-Man's song, If I Only Had a Heart (for which she was paid $100) and in 1946, she appeared in It's A Wonderful Life at Martini's bar while James Stewart was praying.

She did some promotions of Snow White and she later appeared in a few related television shows including The Julie Andrews' Hour episode about Walt Disney's music and on The Mike Douglas Show. Eventually, she sold autographs to earn money and she tried to restart a career in the opera. At the age of 75, she re-recorded I'm Wishing for Snow White's Grotto in Disneyland.

Miss Caselotti, who voiced an iconic Walt Disney character, eventually and unsuccessfully sued Disney for a bigger salary or piece of the movie's profits.

Was Adriana Caselotti paid enough for voicing Snow White?

See results

SOUND OFF: DID WALT DISNEY ROB ADRIANA CASELOTTI? - Here's your chance to have your say...

So what do YOU think? Did Walt Disney ROB Adriana Caselotti when he paid her $970 for a role of such magnitude?

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Movie Soundtrack

Adriana Caselotti's voice is both unique and haunting.

"Disney's Snow White, the world's first animated musical feature, is still a standard in the industry. Though 1930s recording technology was primitive by today's standards, the Disney music studios have always used the available technology to its fullest, and this recording still stands up. The mature but hauntingly childlike Adriana Caselotti as Snow White is a unique vocal presence, and the songs include "Whistle While You Work," "Heigh-Ho," and "Some Day My Prince Will Come."The score is nearly as great an accomplishment as the film itself." ~ John Sanchez

Another Adriana Caselotti Autographed Picture

Adriana Caselotti Autographed Picture
Adriana Caselotti Autographed Picture

Is Adriana Caselotti's story a sad or a happy one for you?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      She was paid a decent amount of money for her performance, but Disney should have given her some extra due to the success of the movie, and what she brought to it.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      $20 a day! What an awful way to treat Adriana Caselotti!

    • Celticep profile image

      Celticep 4 years ago

      I think it's a happy story in the end, she took the conditions, did the job and got paid relatively well for it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      HAPPY>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>She made the most of it.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • KReneeC profile image

      KReneeC 5 years ago

      Very interesting........... This is definitely a sad and happy story. But she was apart of one of the best Disney movies of all time! That is an honor in itself.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      I never thought about Snow Whites voice before. Very interesting lens.

    • Mishael A Witty profile image

      Mishael A Witty 6 years ago

      What an interesting story. And even if Caselotti didn't get decent royalties for being the voice of Snow White, at least now she'll have forever fame, thanks to your lens!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      What a fascinating story - I had no idea or even thought to wonder who was the voice of Snow White.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 7 years ago

      Loved watching that interview video! It's so much fun to see the backstory on these old movies!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      Interesting story - I never thought about who the voice was!

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      I am still sitting here smiling after the video of Adriana on the piano playing the Snow White songs. Totally delightful. Great story. and to tell the truth, I had never even thought about who played her voice!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What an interesting lens Brenda, I never knew any of this. Not sure if it was happy or sad, kinda of mixed for me, but definitely interesting.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 7 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Sad, but not surprised by Walt Disney's actions.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I think it's a happy story. She certainly seemed happy in the interview on the video. Very interesting story!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      I love to hear such voices. I think that nowadays movies don't have as much quality as these old movies because of these adorable voices. Now all voices, whether spoken or sang, all are like whispers... It's silly and absolutely not representative from what actual humans are.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      It's lovely to see that the Snow White voice belonged to someone who really did look like Snow White! That was a surprise. But sad that this dream role killed her other chances of a successful career.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      I am surprised she was paid that much, Disney ran basically sweat shops with his animators. Very interesting lens

    • profile image

      LasgalenArts 7 years ago

      It's not so much about the money that bothers me but the black listing. They effectively robbed her of a career in Hollywood.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: It doesn't seem like a lot of money given the fact that Disney is still making money from the franchise.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      @Jhangora LM: Unfortunately, I think perhaps Walt Disney had a lot of power. The one example that is widely quoted is that Jack Benny (a famous comedian of the time) asked to use her on his radio show and was told by Disney that "I'm sorry, but that voice can't be used anywhere." Remember too that those were the times when major actors and actresses were signed to a studio...I have no idea if that applied to Adriana Caselotti though as it is said that she didn't even know she was recording for a major part!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      What an amazing story- bitter sweet I think.

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 7 years ago

      It is sad that Disney didn't allow her to feature in other movies. Weren't there other studios she could approach?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I always love the voice of snow white and wonder from whom. Now, I've already known and I think Adriana should be got her profits more than $970. Thanks for sharing this lense .. dear Brenda. Love to be here. Give you my 5 snow white loving stars :)