Farewell to the Disneyland Story Reader

Greg Ehrbar and I just received the sad news that our little friend Robie Lester passed away on Tuesday, June 14. She had been battling leukemia for many years, and our last communication from her was just a couple of weeks ago when she sent additions and corrections for her biographical sidebar that will appear in MOUSE TRACKS: THE STORY OF WALT DISNEY RECORDS. At that time she mentioned that her doctors had discontinued all of her chemotherapy and other treatments, so we knew it didn't sound good.

Most of you will recognize Robie's name from the dozens of Disney records on which she appeared as either narrator ("You will know it is time to turn the page when Tinker Bell rings her little bells like this...") or voice actor (Piglet in the POOH albums, many voices in the Oz LP's, trembling Karen in THE HAUNTED MANSION album, etc). However, Robie appeared on practically as many Disney records in an uncredited capacity than the ones that featured he name on the label. Did you ever wonder who sang "The Litterbug Song," "Sammy, the Way-Out Seal," or "The Siamese Cat Song," or who was the voice of the Orange Bird? Those, and many others, were Robie at work.

We don't even have room to go into all of her other credits here, but probably her most famous non-Disney work was as Miss Jessica the schoolteacher, who becomes Mrs. Kris Kringle, in the Rankin/Bass classic SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN (1970). Her big song from that special, "My World is Bginning Today," stands out as both one of her finest performances and a fitting tribute to her entire career. Pull that show out of your Christmas videos or DVDs and watch it in her memory!

We'll miss you, Robie.....


Sad news indeed!

I'm sure Robie is having a ball with Thurl -- and other assorted friends -- in Disney's Heavenland!

I'll mostly remember her for her Aristocats work; her voice, speaking or singing, was one of the sweetest I've ever heard!

Rest in peace, sweet Duchess!


Sad news.I never knew she was the voice of Mrs.Kringle.She did a great job with that.I loved that song.She was also great on all of those Disneyland records.
I am looking forward to your book.
Sad news indeed. This has been a sad year so far for Disney music fans....Thurl....Tutti.....Robie....what a legacy left behind.

Robie was also the chattering, cooing voice of the lovesick girl squirrel in The Sword in the Stone

Hi Merlin. The voice of the girl squirrel is actually Ginny Tyler who also worked with Robie on the Disneyland Storyteller records.

I'd forgotten that Robie was the voice of Karen on the Haunted Mansion recording; which reminds me, I've been meaning to transfer my audiocassette of that record, which was released several years ago, onto a CD--when I finally get to it, it'll be with Thurl and Robie in mind. A sad thank you for the news, Tim.....


P. S. I always have a personal chuckle over that Haunted Mansion story--my wife and I are Karen and Mike......
I'd forgotten that Robie was the voice of Karen on the Haunted Mansion recording;

Cast of STER - 3947 The Haunted Mansion

Thurl Ravenscroft as Narrator
Pete Renoudet as Ghost Host
Ronny Howard as Mike
Robie Lester as Karen
Eleanor Audley as Madame Leota