Who Is Adriana Caselotti? She WAS Snow White!
Adriana Caselotti was hired at the age of 18 to voice Snow White when Walt Disney went looking for someone who could hit the high notes required in opera but who could also sing and speak like a child.
When Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was produced, it was known as Disney's Folly because it was the first full-length animated movie ever made. Walt Disney went ahead and made it despite the controversy. He spared no expense and the movie went on to become one of Disney's most famous movies, to make plenty of money and to help create the Disney Studio we all know and love today.But what of Adriana Caselotti?
How much was she paid for beingthe voice of Snow White?
Was it enough?
For generations past, present and future, Adriana Caselotti IS Snow White.
Adriana Caselotti Signed and Sold Many Autographs
Fast Facts About Adriana Caselotti
- BIRTH DATE: May 6, 1916
- DECEASED: January 19, 1997
- OCCUPATION: Actress and singer
- MOST FAMOUS FOR: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- MARRIED: Four times
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
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
More Adriana Caselotti Reading
- Disney Archives Snow White Character History
"Finding a voice suitable for Snow White was one of the animators' hardest pre-production tasks."
- Someday My Credits Will Come . . . How Uncredited Voice Over Roles in Disney Films Kept the Magic
"In his first animated feature film, Walt Disney purposefully hid the identity of the voice of Snow White, the 18-year old Adriana Caselotti (1916-1997), effectively rendering her voice property of Disney. The only other film role she had was a bit p
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
"Hollywood Reporter reported in November 1939 that Caselotti (who modern sources claim was paid $14,000 for her work on the picture) sued Disney for $200,000 for alleged use of her recorded singing without her permission."
- Adriana Caselotti, 80, Voice of Snow White - New York Times
"In a 1993 interview, Miss Caselotti said she was paid $20 a day to sing and read the lines for the role, for a total of $970, and that she did not realize she was working on a full-length animated film."
Do you think Adriana Caselotti was paid enough for voicing Snow White?
Now that you know how much she was paid, here's some background information
It is reported that Walt Disney paid Miss Caselotti $20 per day for her role as the voice of Snow White, an amount which totalled $970.
It is also said that Walt Disney blacklisted Adriana Caselotti from appearing in ANY OTHER MOVIES in order to protect the illusion of Snow White.Miss Caselotti did eventually appear in The Wizard of Oz as the voice of Juliet in the Tin-Man's song, If I Only Had a Heart (for which she was paid $100) and in 1946, she appeared in It's A Wonderful Life at Martini's bar while James Stewart was praying.
She did some promotions of Snow White and she later appeared in a few related television shows including The Julie Andrews' Hour episode about Walt Disney's music and on The Mike Douglas Show. Eventually, she sold autographs to earn money and she tried to restart a career in the opera. At the age of 75, she re-recorded I'm Wishing for Snow White's Grotto in Disneyland.
Miss Caselotti, who voiced an iconic Walt Disney character, eventually and unsuccessfully sued Disney for a bigger salary or piece of the movie's profits.
SOUND OFF: DID WALT DISNEY ROB ADRIANA CASELOTTI? - Here's your chance to have your say...
So what do YOU think? Did Walt Disney ROB Adriana Caselotti when he paid her $970 for a role of such magnitude?
Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Movie Soundtrack
Adriana Caselotti's voice is both unique and haunting.
"Disney's Snow White, the world's first animated musical feature, is still a standard in the industry. Though 1930s recording technology was primitive by today's standards, the Disney music studios have always used the available technology to its fullest, and this recording still stands up. The mature but hauntingly childlike Adriana Caselotti as Snow White is a unique vocal presence, and the songs include "Whistle While You Work," "Heigh-Ho," and "Some Day My Prince Will Come."The score is nearly as great an accomplishment as the film itself." ~ John Sanchez
Another Adriana Caselotti Autographed Picture
More Celebrity Reading
- Meet Peter Behn: Voice of Bambi's Thumper
With the recent release from Disney's Vault of the timeless classic Bambi comes renewed interest in all things to do with the movie. I was curious about who voiced Thumper and went looking for a bit of information.I discovered that Thumper was...
- Meet James Baskett: Actor & Uncle Remus In The Song ...
If you are familiar with Walt Disney's infamous 1946 movie, Song of the South, then you have already met James Baskett for he played the main character in the movie, the much-loved Uncle Remus.James Baskett lived from February 16, 1904 until July 9,.
- Meet Jim Henson: Creator of The Muppets
In Greenville, Mississippi a little boy was born in 1936 who would grow up to create icons for children everywhere. That little boy was James Maury Henson, better known as Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets.It's ironic that one of Jim Henson's...
- Meet Marge Champion: The Model For Snow White
Marge Champion was hired as a teenager to be the model for Snow White. Walt Disney sent his scout to her father's dance studio and she was amongst three chosen, and eventually, became the real Snow White. A young girl's dream role, she was dressed...
- Meet Lucille LaVerne: Evil Queen Voice in Snow White
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.'...
- Meet The Seven Dwarfs
If you are not already familiar with Snow White's Seven Dwarfs, you will be when you leave this page.You will be a little richer in the history and lore of Walt Disney's first full-length animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and you will.
Is Adriana Caselotti's story a sad or a happy one for you?
anonymous on July 26, 2013:
She was paid a decent amount of money for her performance, but Disney should have given her some extra due to the success of the movie, and what she brought to it.
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on February 13, 2013:
$20 a day! What an awful way to treat Adriana Caselotti!
Celticep from North Wales, UK on February 03, 2013:
I think it's a happy story in the end, she took the conditions, did the job and got paid relatively well for it.
anonymous on November 01, 2012:
HAPPY>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>She made the most of it.
Blackspaniel1 on May 15, 2012:
KReneeC on May 05, 2012:
Very interesting........... This is definitely a sad and happy story. But she was apart of one of the best Disney movies of all time! That is an honor in itself.
Beverly Rodriguez from Albany New York on March 20, 2012:
I never thought about Snow Whites voice before. Very interesting lens.
Mishael A Witty on May 23, 2011:
What an interesting story. And even if Caselotti didn't get decent royalties for being the voice of Snow White, at least now she'll have forever fame, thanks to your lens!
Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on January 18, 2011:
What a fascinating story - I had no idea or even thought to wonder who was the voice of Snow White.
tandemonimom lm on January 10, 2011:
Loved watching that interview video! It's so much fun to see the backstory on these old movies!
Jennifer Sullivan from Chicago, IL on January 10, 2011:
Interesting story - I never thought about who the voice was!
Joan4 on January 08, 2011:
I am still sitting here smiling after the video of Adriana on the piano playing the Snow White songs. Totally delightful. Great story. and to tell the truth, I had never even thought about who played her voice!
anonymous on January 07, 2011:
What an interesting lens Brenda, I never knew any of this. Not sure if it was happy or sad, kinda of mixed for me, but definitely interesting.
Paul from Liverpool, England on January 07, 2011:
Sad, but not surprised by Walt Disney's actions.
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on January 07, 2011:
I think it's a happy story. She certainly seemed happy in the interview on the video. Very interesting story!
justholidays on January 07, 2011:
I love to hear such voices. I think that nowadays movies don't have as much quality as these old movies because of these adorable voices. Now all voices, whether spoken or sang, all are like whispers... It's silly and absolutely not representative from what actual humans are.
Indigo Janson from UK on January 07, 2011:
It's lovely to see that the Snow White voice belonged to someone who really did look like Snow White! That was a surprise. But sad that this dream role killed her other chances of a successful career.
MargoPArrowsmith on January 07, 2011:
I am surprised she was paid that much, Disney ran basically sweat shops with his animators. Very interesting lens
LasgalenArts on January 07, 2011:
It's not so much about the money that bothers me but the black listing. They effectively robbed her of a career in Hollywood.
Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on January 07, 2011:
@anonymous: It doesn't seem like a lot of money given the fact that Disney is still making money from the franchise.
Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on January 07, 2011:
@Jhangora LM: Unfortunately, I think perhaps Walt Disney had a lot of power. The one example that is widely quoted is that Jack Benny (a famous comedian of the time) asked to use her on his radio show and was told by Disney that "I'm sorry, but that voice can't be used anywhere." Remember too that those were the times when major actors and actresses were signed to a studio...I have no idea if that applied to Adriana Caselotti though as it is said that she didn't even know she was recording for a major part!
Sue Dixon from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK on January 07, 2011:
What an amazing story- bitter sweet I think.
Jhangora LM on January 07, 2011:
It is sad that Disney didn't allow her to feature in other movies. Weren't there other studios she could approach?
anonymous on January 07, 2011:
I always love the voice of snow white and wonder from whom. Now, I've already known and I think Adriana should be got her profits more than $970. Thanks for sharing this lense .. dear Brenda. Love to be here. Give you my 5 snow white loving stars :)