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Lucille La Verne was an American accomplished stage and film actress and voice actress, who, for Disney voiced both the Queen and the Witch in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

La Verne was born near Nashville, Tennessee, on November 7, 1872 and began her career as a child in local summer stock and touring theater troupes. When she was 14, she played both Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth) back to back. Her ability to play almost any part quickly caught the attention of more prolific companies, and she made her Broadway debut in 1888. Among her hits on Broadway were principal roles in Uncle Tom's Cabin, Seven Days and Way Down East and Sun Up. With her Broadway run, US tour, and European tour, La Verne gave over 3,000 performances, becoming a leading lady with some of the best stock companies in America. La Verne also worked on Broadway as a playwright, director and eventually ran her own successful stock company.

She made her motion picture debut in 1915 in the movie Over Night and performed small parts in the movies Polly of the Circus, Orphans of the Storm, The White Rose, America as Refugee Mother, An American Tragedy, The Unholy Garden, She Wanted a Millionaire, While Paris Sleeps, School for Girls, Kentucky Kernels, and The Mighty Barnum. Her most famous onscreen performance is perhaps her role as the Vengeance in A Tale of Two Cities (1935), an example of a role in which she "sacrificed her looks for the craft"[1].

When cast in Snow White, Bill Cottrell and Joe Grant were in charge of the recording session of the voice of the witch. At first, they felt that her voice was too smooth for the Witch. Asking herself to be excused, Lucille La Verne left the room; upon returning a few moments later, her voice was exactly what Cottrell and Grant wanted. When asked how she had achieved this, La Verne admitted that she had removed her false teeth[2]. Grant noticed La Verne's changing attitude and posture when voicing the Queen and Witch, and sketched these poses down for animation reference[2].

La Verne died from cancer in Culver City, California on March 4, 1945. Interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, her grave was unmarked for nearly 75 years before fans took up a collection to ensure that she had a stone.



  • The Evil Queen is the first Disney Villain. Ironically, Lucille's final film role was the role of The Evil Queen.
  • Due to voicing the Evil Queen, Lucille La Verne is one of the two classic Disney Princess Villain actresses, the other one being Eleanor Audley, who voiced both Lady Tremaine and Maleficent.
    • Interestingly, both Lucille and Eleanor were born in November. However, Lucille's birthday is November 7, while Eleanor's birthday is November 19.


  1. Great Character Actors
  2. 2.0 2.1 Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, "The Disney Villain"

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