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Ilene Woods, voice of Cinderella, dies at 81

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Ilene Woods, voice of Cinderella, dies at 81

Sat Jul 3, 4:41 pm ET


LOS ANGELES ? Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella in Disney's animated classic, has died. She was 81.


Woods died Thursday of causes related to Alzheimer's disease at a nursing home in Canoga Park, her husband, Ed Shaughnessy, tells the Los Angeles Times.


Woods was an 18-year-old radio singer in 1948 when she recorded a demo for an upcoming Disney feature. Two days later, Walt Disney himself auditioned her and she went on to voice the title character's speaking and singing parts for 1950's "Cinderella," about a mistreated stepdaughter who finds her Prince Charming.


Woods sang on the Perry Como and Arthur Godfrey shows in the 1950s before retiring from show business in the early 1970s.


In addition to her husband of 47 years, she is survived by their son, a daughter from her first marriage, and three grandchildren.

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She had such a beautiful voice. Her two songs in "Cinderalla," "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and "So This is Love" were wonderful and memorable. While never really achieving a large degree of stardom, she was seen throughout the 1950s, mostly on television. There was also a short stint as a recording artist, when she had a few record albums released.

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Ilene Woods was also the regular female vocalist on Garry Moore's daytime radio show on CBS in 1949. I've heard a recording of one broadcast where Garry is introducing Ilene's song, and he tells the studio audience and listeners that she does the voice of Cinderella in "the new Disney picture", and the audience members break out into appreciative applause.

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