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Ginny Tyler, born Merrie Virginia Erlandson (August 8, 1925 – July 13, 2012), was an American voice actress who did voice work for dozens of Disney cartoons, feature films and theme park attractions from 1957 to 1992. She lent her voice in Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean.
Early life and career
While Ginny Tyler was growing up in a Native American family near Seattle, Washington, her family passed along the storytelling craft, as well as the imitation of animal sounds and birdcalls. Tyler's flair with these talents first put her before the radio microphone in the 1940s, and by 1951 she was hosting her own daily children's show on KOMO-TV, "Magic Island." She was also getting more and more work off-screen for her vocal talents, and in 1957 Mother Goose flew south to Hollywood.
One of her first jobs after landing was playing Olive Oyl on a Spike Jones recording of "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man," and work on more novelty records quickly followed. By the early 1960s, she had joined the Disneyland Records stock company, narrating beloved vinyl recordings of Bambi, Babes in Toyland, Hans Brinker, and More Mother Goose.
Ginny's vocal work gradually moved from just narration to character voices for Disney: she played two amorous female squirrels in The Sword in the Stone (1963), and sang for several of the barnyard animals in the "Jolly Holiday" sequence of Mary Poppins (1964).
For other studios, Ginny was Casper, the Friendly Ghost in his 1963 TV series, space-damsel Jan and the Black Widow in Space Ghost, Sue Richards in Fantastic Four, Flirtacia the Lilliputian in The Adventures of Gulliver, and all the female characters in the first thirteen episodes of Davey and Goliath.
Ginny provided the voice of Polynesia the parrot, who taught the good doctor how to talk to the animals in "Doctor Dolittle" (1967). Along with frequent Disneyland Records co-star Dallas McKennon, she provided most of the other animal voices for that musical spectacular. (Her parrot patois was also heard on "The Jack Benny Show" and "The Lucy Show.")
Mickey Mouse Club
When the original "Mickey Mouse Club" was re-edited and repackaged for syndication in 1962, Tyler was appointed Head Mouseketeer, live from Disneyland. A Mickey Mouse Club Headquarters was constructed inside the Main Street Opera House (later home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln), where Ginny hosted a live 15-minute daily segment of the program. Children could also register as "Official Mouseketeers," complete with membership card, and Ginny, often in the company of Roy Williams or Jimmie Dodd, was on hand for greetings and autographs.
Among her many works, Ginny Tyler provided voices for various Disney Parks for Walt Disney. Her Disney days remain "the most awesome part of my life, and truly a 'dream come true'!" Ginny once said. She remembers a day at Disneyland where she was waxing effusive about the many beautiful aspects of the Park with Walt. "And I was raving away to Walt how wonderful Disneyland was, he said, 'And that goes for my Disneyland Storyteller, too.' I have never felt prouder in my entire life."
At the Disney Parks, she can be heard as a Tiki Goddess in the pre-show of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room and voiced the Witch in the original 1971 version of Walt Disney World's Snow White's Scary Adventures. She also lent her voice in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.
Ginny Tyler passed away on July 13, 2012.