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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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    • 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.

    • 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!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image
      Author

      Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

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

    • 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 ;)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

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

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