Two Beloved Disney Actors Pass Away Within Days of Each Other

Art LaFleur Will Ryan

Two beloved Hollywood actors well-known to Disney fans sadly passed within days of each other lastweek. Art LaFleur passed away at age 78 on November 17 — although his death was not reported until November 20 — Will Ryan passed away at the age of 72 on Friday, November 19. Ryan passed away after a short battle with cancer, and LaFleur died after a more than 10-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Art LaFleur

Credit: Disney

Will Ryan played a number of iconic roles for Disney, although his face may not be as well-known as his voice. Ryan was an iconic voice actor and first began working with Disney all the way back in 1983 when he voiced Rabbit in the Welcome to Pooh Corner series. He continued to voice Rabbit for years in other Winnie the Pooh shows, like Too Smart for Strangers and Pooh’s Great School Bus Adventure. Ryan then became the voice of Willie the Giant in Mickey’s Christmas Carol — a role that he continued to reprise until 2021 in shows like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Willie the Giant

Credit: Disney

Ryan is also very well-known for voicing the characters of Rock n’ Roll in the G.I. Joe series and Petrie the Pterodactyl in The Land Before Time movie series.

Art LaFleur had an incredible career in Hollywood that spanned nearly 40 years. He began working with Disney in the 1980s when he had a small role in The Magical World of Disney, and later in ABC Afterschool Specials. However, he is probably most well-known to Disney fans for his role as the Tooth Fairy — AKA The Molinator — in both The Santa Claus 2 and The Santa Claus 3: The Escape Claus.

Art LaFleur

Credit: Disney

LaFleur appeared in numerous popular television shows like M*A*S*H, Home Improvement, Matlock, and Boy Meets World. He also became a household name when he portrayed Chick Gandil in Field of Dreams and Babe Ruth in the cult-classic film The Sandlot.

Will Ryan is survived by his wife Nancy, and his siblings Patty Ryan, Marsha Ryan Russo, and George Ryan.

Art LaFleur’s death was announced by his wife, with who he was with for over 40 years. The couple had two children together.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!