We were saddened by the news that Virginia Davis, Walt Disney Studio’s first live-action star, passed away last Saturday at the age of 90. The star of Disney’s 13 popular Alice Comedies series, which blended live-action and animation, Davis was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and was discovered by Disney at the age of four when he was launching his first studio, Laugh-O-Gram.
As Davis told the press years later, the Alice shorts were ‘always a little story where I would get into the cartoon through a dream or I was hit on the head with a baseball and suddenly I’d find myself in a world of cartoon characters and charming smiles.’ Among the most famous of these shorts are Alice’s Wonderland, Alice’s Day at Sea, Alice’s Wild West Show and Alice’s Spooky Adventure.
“Did you ever have a favorite uncle, someone you idolized who would come to see you every once in a while and just light up your day? That’s where I was with Walt,” Davis said during a 2002 visit to Kansas City.
Disney continued to make 40 more Alice films, but Davis ended her tenure after the first 13. She continued to perform in theaters and appeared in movies such as Three on a Match, The Harvey Girls and TV shows such as Your Hit Parade and One Man’s Family. She even inked cartoons for Disney at some point in her career. Over the years, Davis remained in contact with Disney and was often a special guest at annual Disneyana Conventions. She was named a Disney Legend in 1998.
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