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This Letter From Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, Now 86, Will Make You Weep

Mary Costa, known for being the original voice of Princess Aurora in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, penned an open letter to express gratitude to her many fans just in time for her 86th birthday on April 5.

In the letter, written with all of the grace and eloquence of an IRL Disney Princess, Costa thanked her fans for their continued support over the years. For her part, Costa voiced the titular role of the sleep-stricken princess after a chance encounter with composer Walter Schumann at a dinner party in 1952. Schumann later left the project because of creative differences with Walt Disney, but his pick in Costa, then a young 22-year-old performer, remains one of his greatest career achievements.

The singer and actress also recalled the advice Walt himself gave her for what was her first major role: “Mary, just remember the three D’s… Dedication, Determination, and Discipline, and you’ll achieve your Dreams!”

(We’re not crying; you’re crying.)

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Released in 1959, Sleeping Beauty wasn’t initially successful. At the time the film received mixed reviews from critics, but Sleeping Beauty has since become one of the most celebrated films in the Disney Animation canon thanks to its darker narrative, beautiful moments of grandeur, lush animation, and the fact that the film gave us one of the most menacing villains of all time.

Needless to say, Costa has had to keep up with plenty of interview requests in the six decades since the film’s release, so she also announced that she will no longer be answering requests for autographs by mail. She will, however, continue to meet fans and sign autographs at events and conventions.

“Through the years, I have always personally read and signed as many of your requests as possible,” she wrote. “After having been so deeply inspired by letters from you, I have come to regard you not as fans, but as my friends. I have recently realized, however, that continuing to attempt to answer the volume of autograph requests I regularly receive has become more than any one ’Princess’ can possibly handle.”

Where are those three good fairies when you really need them?

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