It was in early 1968 and my parents were looking for an apartment in the Hollywood area. My mother was pregnant with me, and she was anxious to get settled.
One day, they went to go see a place that seemed promising. After ringing the doorbell, a lilting voice came through the door. "Who is it?" Struck by the familiar sound, my mother startled. She knew the voice - but it couldn't be.
It surely was. The door opened, and there stood a woman in her early 50's. She spoke again and it was obvious. This was the home of Adriana Caselotti - the voice behind Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. My mother exclaimed "You are Snow White!" And she said that she was indeed. She was going to be moving and had placed an ad looking for new tenants. My mother said that Ms. Caselotti became her character, floating through her apartment much like Snow White in the movie. On her piano was a collection of photos from the movie production. She had framed pictures up of everyone involved including the seven dwarves and their real life counterparts. She was saddened that most of them had already died, but affectionately recalled the bonds they all shared during the making the film. They remained good friends up till the end.
For a little history, Adriana Caselotti was a young Italian American opera singer in the making. Noticed by Walt Disney, she became his vision of how Snow White's character would sound. Incidentally, she remained under contract by Disney so that her voice would be exclusively associated with her character and heard nowhere else so as to not ruin the illusion.
Fast forward to the year 1995. My husband at the time was big into historic manuscripts and as a result received newsletters of documents being auctioned off or sold. I stumbled upon an ad from Ms. Caselotti. She had excessive amounts of movie photographs taken to promote the 1937 film and was offering autographed copies at $10 each, but warned that she wouldn't be around forever and to act soon. At that time she was in her late 70s. I jumped at the opportunity to write her and relate my story. She sent me at least 20 signed photos and a lovely note acknowledging my parents' visit. Sadly, she passed away in 1997, but her legacy lives on. To this day, when I need to do housework, guess what I sing? One of two songs "With a smile and a song" or "Whistle while you work." It makes me laugh every time. My children hate it.
She really was Snow White.