Friday, July 2, 2010

Ilene Woods, The Vocie of Disney's Cinderella, R,I.P.

Ilene Woods, who provided the voice for Cinderella in the Disney movie of the same name, passed on Thursday. The causes were linked to Alzheimer's Disease.

Ilene Woods was born May 5, 1929 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Although she wanted to be a teacher, her mother thought she belonged on the stage. Her mother saw to it that she had lessons in singing, music, and dance.She was only 11 years old when she received her own local, radio show. In 1944, when she was only 14 Miss Wood received her own show on The Blue Network (now ABC). During World War II she toured with the Air Force Orchestra.

Ilene Woods moved to Chicago to be a regular on the popular radio show The Breakfast Club. Afterwards she moved to Los Angeles where she became a regular on The Sealtest Village Store and made guest appearances on Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope's radio shows. She was only 18 in 1948 when her friends, legendary songwriters Jerry Livingston and Mack David, asked a favour of her: recording a demo of a few songs they had written for a Disney animated feature film.

It was two days later that Walt Disney called Miss Woods. He asked if she would take the role of Cinderella. She had beaten out 200 other singers who had auditioned for the role. On and off for the next two years Miss Woods spent recording dialogue tracks and songs for Cinderella.

In the Fifties Ilene Woods would sing on various television shows. She was a regular on Garry Moore's daytime variety show. In 1963 she married Ed Shaughnessy, long the drummer for the band on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Miss Woods retired from show business in 1972.

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