• 16 May 1916
  •  Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA

Adriana Caselotti


Adriana was born into an operatic family - her father Guido, an immigrant from Italy, taught music in New York City, her mother Maria (from Naples) sang at the Royal Opera, and a sister Louise was a noted opera singer and voice teacher. She was 18 when Walt Disney personally chose her for the voice of Snow White in his first full-length animated feature Blanche Neige et les sept nains (1937). He was looking for a fresh and natural voice, and asked her father if any of his students might be suitable, but on hearing Adriana's voice realized his search was over. It was the days of studio contracts and indenture, and Walt wanted to keep the mystery of the Snow White voice, so except for a bit part in The Wizard of Oz (1939) she was in no other film - when Jack Benny wished to have her appear on his radio show, Walt refused - he owned the voice and it could be used nowhere else. Adriana tried opera singing, and invested in real estate and stock market, while living a full life (four husbands, thrice widowed), always active in the publicity surrounding the many re-releases of Snow White.