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Meet Lucille LaVerne: Evil Queen Voice in Snow White

Updated on October 13, 2014

Who Was Lucille Laverne? The Voice Of The Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!

Did you ever wonder who voiced the evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?

Do you remember Snow White's story?

That the evil or wicked Queen was wildly jealous of the young and very beautiful girl who was named 'the fairest in the land.' Because she is jealous, the Queen behaves very poorly toward her stepdaughter, Snow White, requiring her to work hard as a scullery maid and hoping that the work will dim her beauty. However, when the Magic Mirror reveals that Snow White continues to become more beautiful, the Queen plots to have her killed.

Walt Disney chose actress Lucille LaVerne to play the parts of the Wicked Queen AND the hag Witch. He knew how crucial it was that the Queen be done perfectly and Ms. LaVerne did an amazing job. Initially, however, she was told that her voice was too polished for the hag so she excused herself from the recording studio and returned with the magnificent and gravelly voice we now recognize as the hag witch.

How did Ms. LaVerne achieve this voice difference? It is no secret but it is a surprise that will make you smile. She REMOVED HER FALSE TEETH and the old hag was born.

Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was made in 1937 near the end of Ms. LaVerne's life. She was 65 years old when she became the Wicked Queen for Disney's controversial first full-length animated movie. Work for the Queen and Witch lasted about six months. It seems that Ms. LaVerne is one of the more obscure (and some say nearly forgotten) voices and as such, I have been unable to locate any information about what salary she received from Disney for voicing one of the most unforgettable movie villains in history.

Ms. Laverne, according to the New York Times, "seemed to dote on playing tattered old hags, staggering tosspots, time- and care-worn slum mothers and indomitable frontierswomen."

When Lucille LaVerne removed her false teeth to voice the old hag, it was

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"Magic Mirror, on the wall,

who is the fairest one of all?"

Watch The Evil Queen Transform Into The Hag

At number 9 on HollywoodChicago.com's list of The 10 Scariest Scenes in Film History, we find Snow White. Yes, it is a children's film but it does explore the darkness and it contains several scary sections. To offset Snow White's wholesomeness, Walt Disney made sure that the Wicked Queen was well, wicked, and it was played perfectly by Lucille LaVerne. She goes from the icily beautiful Queen to the hag witch in a scene that HollywoodChicago calls "a tour de force of terror."

Walt Disney's Horror Movie, Stephen Schochet reports that Walt Disney may have worried that the witch was too frightening, especially upon reports from Radio City Movie Hall in New York that they had to replace seats repeatedly due to 'excessive wetness.'

Snow White's Evil Queen Story on Video

Did Lucille LaVerne do a good job of voicing the Evil Queen in Snow White?

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Fast Facts About Lucille La Verne

  • BORN: November 1872, "Lucille Mitchum"
  • BIRTHPLACE: Memphis, Tennessee
  • DIED: March 4, 1945
  • CAREER: American actress in silent movies and on the stage from the age of 4.
  • BEST KNOWN FOR: A subject for debate. Some might argue that she is better known for her roles in silent movies and on stage because her role in Snow White is nearly forgotten.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray and DVD
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray and DVD

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Experience Lucille Laverne as the evil Queen on a 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

Click here to order your copy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from Amazon.

This "vain, wicked stepmother and her alter-ego,the black-hooded, apple-proffering hag" is ranked Number 10 on the American Film Institute's villains list of The Greatest Heroes and Villains of the last 100 years.

The Evil Queen's Magic Mirror From Snow White
The Evil Queen's Magic Mirror From Snow White

More Lucille Laverne Movies

Lucille Laverne as Queen and Witch in Snow White
Lucille Laverne as Queen and Witch in Snow White

How do you think Lucille LaVerne did at voicing the evil Queen and old hag witch in Snow White?

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    • profile image

      Soldiersister8184 4 years ago

      She is the second scariest Disney villan, at least as far as I'm concerned. Thank you for the information - I didn't have any idea that she did that simply by removing her teeth! Fascinating piece of history, and well presented.

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 6 years ago from Texas

      When I was 6 I had nightmares for 2 weeks after watching Snow White. My mom had to sleep with me for a month! My daughter loved Snow White when she was 3 but always decided to leave the room during the scene where the queen transforms.

    • dwnovacek profile image

      dwnovacek 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Beautifully presented information about someone I didn't know anything about until now. Angel Blessings!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 6 years ago from New Zealand

      I love the original snow white movie. This was really interesting. I will have to watch it again and listen for the voice difference more clearly. Fun lens on the evil queen.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Mirror Mirror, on the wall ...WHO is the most evil queen of ALL? Excellent review here... my vote for the most evil queen still goes to the Wicked Witch of the West in OZ: "I'll get you, my pretty...and your little dog too!"

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      She scared me when I was little. Great job on this lens, enjoyed the clip with my grandson.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 6 years ago from California

      Her voice was perfect. She was one scary witch!Great job on this lens. I learned quite a bit about the actress behind the voice.

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 6 years ago from WNY

      Blessings from Happy Dwarf and me.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 6 years ago

      I think she did a great job. Interesting information about the "evil queen" Lucille Laverne

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      She was awesome! LOL! Of course she came from Memphis! Don't all great voices :)

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      Great job. My littlest ones are scared of the movie, but my older ones like it. Blessed by a squid angel.

    • profile image

      tssfacts 6 years ago

      I remember Mom taking me to watch this in the theater. I don't remember if I was frighten or not. It could have been that Mom prepared me before hand. Great review of Lucille LaVerne.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Loved Snow White and her voice makes it scary enough.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      Great coverage on her.

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 6 years ago

      Loved the movie. Great lens Brenda; realy enjoyed it. All those memories ... Thanks

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 6 years ago from Concord VA

      Interesting lens. Great job!

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      She is very convinving!Great lens!

    • rlivermore profile image

      rlivermore 6 years ago

      Voice actors are often unknown. This lens points out how important and talented they are.

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      This is a great story behind a great film.

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 6 years ago

      Scary, scary, scary! Such a great lens - I will be back to read more!

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      It's all in the cackle :)

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      And she's from Memphis! Cool.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      She fits the role perfectly! Wonderful lens, I always appreciate the special little secrets, like you pointed out here when she removed her false teeth.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      This movie was too scary for my oldest when she was little! Laverne did a great job!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for bringing this to us. I appreciate it so much

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 6 years ago

      LOL. I discovered the American version today and something hit me like a bullet: the heart supposed to be the one of Snow White in the American version is the one of a pig, in the French version it's the one of a hind. Which one is the original of the story, I don't know and will finally buy the book so that I can check out, lol.Excellent series! I enjoy to discover the persons behind these excellent characters - ah, I love old movies, they're much more beautiful than those of today ;)

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image
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      Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks, Susan ~ I did do a lot of research and enjoyed it, too!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      She's just scary enough, I'd say, for children to watch. Wow, Brenda, you did a lot of digging to find all this history of the Snow White movie. Very well done!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      I cannot tell my opinion. I never heard her in the Swedish version of these movies.