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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Snow White" (1937;1998) [Series] - Adriana Caselotti Signed Picture

A series of postings of "Snow White" items in the Cowan Collection [click Here to see the contact sheet of items in the postings].

Here is a nice little historical piece -- a Disney produced image of Snow White signed by Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Snow White.

Caselotti (1916-1997) has a very distinctive voice. So distinctive in fact that (according to Wikipedia) Disney went to great lengths to make sure that she was not heard in the media of the time (see the notes from Wikipedia below). Frankly, I was saddened by the story. Her parents were opera singers and I'm sure she was thrilled at her "big break" into the movies -- only to have her career cut short. Ah, well... The same situation exists today with the folks that provide the very distinctive voices for cartoons like "The Simpsons," etc.

Note that Caselotti died in 1997 and this item was purchased in early 1998.

Adriana Caselotti Signed Picture

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Snow White” (1937; 1998). A picture of Snow White signed by the voice of Snow White "Adriana Caselotti". Disney Certificate #1298000. [7.5”W x 9.5”H] Acquired 1998. SeqID-0367

Wikipedia: Adriana Caselotti (May 16, 1916 - January 19, 1997) was an American actress and singer. She was the voice of Snow White in Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In the mid-1930s, Adriana Caselotti was hired by Walt Disney to help cast parts in his new film. She was blacklisted by Disney after the film-he did not want her to appear in any other films following Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Jack Benny specifically mentioned that he had asked Walt Disney for permission to use her on his radio show and was told, "I'm sorry, but that voice can't be used anywhere. I don't want to spoil the illusion of Snow White." The only other work she did following her premiere was an uncredited role in The Wizard of Oz, as the voice of Juliet during the Tin-Man's song, "If I Only had a Heart".

She did, however, do a few promotional spots for Snow White, signing memorabilia. In 1973, she appeared on an episode of The Julie Andrews Hour saluting the music of Walt Disney, singing I'm Wishing with Julie Andrews. She also made a guest appearance on the syndicated Mike Douglas show. Later in her life, she sold autographs. She also made an attempt at an opera career. In the early 1990s, when the Snow White Grotto at Disneyland was refurbished, Caselotti re-recorded "I'm Wishing" for the Snow White Wishing Well at the age of 75.


  1. Adriana Caselotti and Harry Stockwell, the voice of the Prince initiated a lawsuit against Walt Disney Productions and RCA in October 1938, seeking a combined total of $300,000 in damages.

    The suit alleged the defendants had violated their contract by making records from the film's sound track, without first obtaining permission from Caselotti or Stockwell.

    Caselotti, who was paid slightly less than $1,000 for her services, was seeking $200,000 in damages, while Stockwell, who had received about $500 for his voice work, was seeking $100,000.

    Two other lawsuits were also launched against Disney in regards to Snow White:

    A music publisher claimed "One Day My Prince Will Come" was based on a Yale University marching song and claimed copyright infringement. In the other instance a Swiss yodeler sought $50,000 in damages, saying some of his musical creations were used in the feature.

    I was lucky enough to have dinner at Adriana's house in Los Angeles back in the late 1980s. She had a wishing well in her front yard and she answered the door bell intercom singing a medley of songs from the film. Over fish appetizers before dinner she remarked, "Oh look, Snow White is eating the Little Mermaid." She was very funny and very gracious, signing several items for us. She loved making children smile and said whenever she went shopping and heard a child crying, she would seek them out, sing a few songs from the film for them and then give them an autographed card. She was a very classy lady.

    To read an extensive post about the film's premiere at the Carthay Circle Theater in Hollywood, please visit my blog:

  2. wow I wonder if Miss Caselotti is still alive. She had such a unique voice, so pure, rich, creamy, I doubt anyone can replace her. Disney better NOT make a Snow White sequel, because I doubt they can find a voice like Caselotti's. (and not to mention they make terrible sequels)

  3. Lou E: Where she lived on Larchmont Blvd in LA, Does her family still live there? Is the Wishing Well still there? & Are there any tours? Will be in LA soon & want to drive by to see the house, thanks