Veteran Disney Voice Actor Will Ryan Dies at 72

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Disney Voice Actor Will Ryan Passed Away

Ryan's death was verified by his talent agency, Nery Lemus, on November 19th.

Will Ryan, a veteran voice actor best known for his work as Willie the Giant on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Peg-Leg Pete, and Petrie in the renowned animated picture The Land Before Time, died after a brief battle with cancer. He was 72 years old at the time, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

“The world is a little less bright tonight with the passing of Will Ryan,” wrote Lemus in a statement. “As much as he was known to many of you as a Disney icon, voice-over legend, gun twirling cowboy, musician/songwriter, a brilliant comedic actor, along with a list of credits that don’t even touch the essence of what he accomplished… he was my friend.” 

“For those who didn’t know him, he was a beautiful person. He was selfless. His humility was endless. He spent his entire life helping others and the loss his friends and family feel tonight would be a tragic understatement,” Lemus continued.

“He was a beautiful soul and I was honored to just know him, let alone represent him. I can’t find all the words that would express what he meant to our company CelebWorx, and the rest of the world he touched with his talent.”

Ryan began his career by lending his voice to short animated films such as Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore and the Academy Award-nominated animated film Mickey’s Christmas Carol. He went on to play a recurrent part in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. G.I. Joe, Joe: The Revenge of Cobra, and Dumbo’s Circus.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

He played Petrie in Universal’s animated adventure picture The Land Before Time, which went on to become a children’s classic, in 1988. He also voiced characters in Teen Wolf, DuckTales, The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin, and The Smurfs in the 1980s.

Over the course of several decades, he played Willie the Giant in a number of Disney projects, including the iconic Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and House of Mouse.

The veteran voice actor has over 100 movie credits to his name and has received multiple nominations, including Annie Awards and WGA Awards, as well as an Outstanding Children’s Program Emmy nomination in 1998 for producing and writing The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.

Will Ryan is survived by his wife, Niparko Ryan, and his siblings Patty Ryan, Marsha Ryan Russo, and George Ryan.

Reactions to Disney Voice Actor Will Ryan Passed Away

Remembering Will Ryan, a prominent voice of my childhood. 1939-2021

@PoppCulture94

R.I.P. Will Ryan (1949 - 2021)

@alec_behan

I know it's dumb but I found out Will Ryan (voice actor) died of cancer yesterday. That means one of my favorite characters died too (Eugene Meltser from Adventures in Odyssey). I always connected with him as I felt I shared so much in common with the character and now he's gone.

@folfswimmer

Just found out that Will Ryan (voice of Petrie in the original Land Before Time) has passed away, rest in peace, may you earn your wings for real and fly like he did. xxoo

@KawaiiSteffu

My heart is sad tonight. Just learned, someone who I have grown up with my entire life has passed away 😓. He is now with God, he will be missed greatly, he was much loved. #WillRyan #AIO

@Filmmaker_12

Will Ryan, best known to me as Eugene Meltsner on Adventures in Odyssey, has passed away. Eugene has always been one of my favorite characters for most of my life. He’ll be missed. 💔

@Captainaqua18

Just heard that Will Ryan died. Teddy Ruxpin was a big part of my childhood, and even today I still find a lot of Grubby's lines funny. Rest in peace.

@felineki

RIP Will Ryan.

@ToonHallofFame

Listening through Will Ryan's albums now 😭

@graphiccons

R.I.P to Will Ryan who passed away yesterday at the age of 72

@dream_big2015

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