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James (Jimmy) MacDonald

1906 - 1991

The voice of Mickey Mouse. Born in Dundee, MacDonald emigrated to the United States as a baby. He was raised in the Philadelphia area and obtained a degree in engineering before moving to California in 1927. His first job was with the Engineering Department of the City of Burbank. A talented musician, he played drums for the Dollar Steamship Company, when his band was asked to play for a Walt Disney film in 1934. He gained employment as a voice and foley artist with Disney Studios, succeeding Walt Disney himself to give a voice to Mickey Mouse from 1946 to 1976. He also voiced the Chipmunks, provided sound effects for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and came out of retirement to provide the sound of the feisty dragonfly, Evinrude, in The Rescuers in 1977. MacDonald rose to become head of the Disney sound effects department.

He died in Glendale, California. In 2009, his life was the subject of a BBC Radio Scotland programme, The Voice of Mickey Mouse, narrated by fellow Dundonian Brian Cox.

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