Ilene Woods (born May 5, 1929 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S.A.) is an American singer, actress and Disney legend.
Her mother worked on the behind the scenes of films, taking Ilene with her. Ilene started acting at two years old. When she was 14, she was given her own radio show on the new station called The Blue Network on ABC Radio during the summer of 1944. It was shortly known as The Ilene Woods Show. The entire show was about 15 minutes of music 3 days a week. A lot of songwriters came on the show to present their music to her, which is how she became friends with Mack David and Jerry Livingston.
She then moved to California, feeling it was time to move on.
Her mother was a lot like Ilene. She was very strict, and had Ilene live her youngest years lived only by her mother's way.
One day, two of her friends, Mack David and Jerry Livingston, called. They asked her to record a few of their most recent written songs for a movie. They also wanted her not just to record them, but to sing them. Soon the songs were presented to Walt Disney so it could be used in the English version of Cinderella. Walt Disney heard Ilene's voice on the tape, and two days later asked Ilene to voice the star role of Cinderella. She gladly accepted the role, surprised by the fact that she was auditioning, and had won against more than 300 other auditioning girls. She only saw Walt Disney after finishing work on Cinderella. She said in a recent interview for Classicfilm, "Seeing it [the film] in its new form was breathtaking for me. It's so beautiful. The color is magnificent, it just took my breath away, it was so wonderful. I sort of forget when I'm watching the movie that I had anything to do with it. Yet, it brings back so many beautiful memories of working with the wonderful artists and working with Walt mostly. It brings back wonderful, wonderful memories."
She sang for President Roosevelt at his home in Hyde Park. She also sang at the White House for President Truman, after singing for the soldiers and sailors of war.
She married George Bruns at the age of 17. She had three children, two girls and one boy. Their names are Jeannie Ilene, Thomas, and Jennifer Nowlin. In 2003, she was awarded a Disney Legends award for her voicework on the film Cinderella. Her most recent film appearance was Cassie in Touched By An Angel as a night nurse.
"It's Late", Jubilee Records JGM 1046, lp, mono