Mary Kay Bergman
|Mary Kay Bergman|
Mary Kay Bergman
Mary Kay Bergman (June 5, 1961 – November 11, 1999), initially credited on South Park as Shannen Cassidy, was an American voice actress and voice-over teacher. She was best known for her multiple character roles on South Park. Mary Kay Bergman was also the official voice of Snow White for the Walt Disney Co. from 1989-1999, and supplied the voice of Snow White for the "cut scenes" shown in the Snow White: Deluxe Videos, Laserdiscs and DVD's. Mary Kay can also be heard as Snow White in the Snow White Ride exclusively at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Florida. After her first voice role as a frightened woman in a radio commercial for a small home security company on a local station in 1986 and a few more radio spots in 1989, Bergman was not making enough to earn a living, so she worked part-time at Robinsons department store. During this time, she got the role with Disney as the voice of Snow White on tape, replacing Adriana Caselotti. She told her boss she needed the day off for the recording, but he refused and she left the post. Disney was pleased with her performance, but she agreed to accept future jobs only when Caselotti was unavailable. She later learned that Disney had different plans. When Disney was releasing a restored version of Snow White, Caselotti was brought back in to record a scene that was missing its audio track. After the studio executives listened to her work, they chose to have Bergman record the scene instead. Caselotti was unaware her voice had been replaced until the 1993 Academy Awards, when she heard Bergman as Snow White presenting an award for best animated short subject. Disney received hundreds of complaints after the ceremony, noting the changes to the Snow White character which Jeffrey Katzenberg had made. Katzenberg apologized and Bergman did not publicly admit to voicing Snow White while Caselotti was still alive.
- Mary Kay Bergman: "We're not the celebrity, the characters are the celebrities right, we're just the voice. I can't take credit for a character and I don't want to either because it's the character that will live on. Snow White will be Snow White forever in a day, Cinderella will be Cinderella forever when you can watch and re-watch that show over and over, that's the star so I really wouldn't want to blow that illusion."
According to Mary Kay Bergman, she was picked to portray Betty Boop (aka (Betty Boop (MGM/Zanuck Co.) - The Betty Boop Movie) and was given the starring role, recreating the original voice with perfection, but the project fell through and was never completed. (Other information is that Bernadette Peters was up for the role.)
Bergman suffered from bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, which she hid from her family, friends and co-stars. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Bergman's depression was mistaken as a reaction to her mother's illness along with job-related stress. Andrade said that he found herbal mood medications that Bergman had hidden in their home. Bergman had privately confessed to her husband that she was afraid of losing her talent, as sessions were not going well, and soon people would know she had lost it and that would be the end of her career. As time went by, Bergman's fears seemed to lessen as her mother was doing better. Bergman and her husband were also making plans to buy a new house within a year, but she still suffered physically. Because of this, Bergman and her husband decided to have an elaborate vacation in Las Vegas, which they had planned a week before her death. On the morning of November 11, 1999, Bergman contributed to a radio show celebrating Disneyland's 45th anniversary. She was last seen alive at 9 p.m., while she was talking to a friend on the phone. An hour and 20 minutes later, her husband and his friend, John Bell, returned home to find that she had shot herself. The police pronounced her dead at 10:18 p.m. The creators of South Park stated that Mary Kay Bergman could do so many different voices, and they had her just do all of them cause she could. And so they knew, and they know, and after her death they were still in the process of finding a lot of talented voice people that can do one or two of the voices that she did and that it would take four to five people to replace her.
- Mary portrayed Snow White for The 65th Annual Academy Awards.
- Other Disney characters she often played were, Arista (Ariel's sister) from The Little Mermaid. Drizella (Cinderella's wicked step-sister), Anita Radcliffe in 101 Dalmatians, Artemis Hercules TV series (replacing Reba McEntire, 2 Ancestors in Mulan.
- She was the official voice of Daphne in Scooby Doo at one point.
- She grew up around the corner from the home of Adriana Caselotti, the original voice of Snow White.
- Her impersonations included, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Eartha Kitt, Betty Boop, Kathryn Hepburn, Helen Hunt, among many others.
- She also did the yodeling for Jessie in Toy Story 2.
- She was several of the main characters on South Park.
- According to her website apart from doing voice-over she was also a singer.
- Mary Kay Bergman at MKB Memorial