Next time you’re waiting in line at the Haunted Mansion, look to your left as you reach the front of the line. That face on the tombstone that blinks? It’s none other than Leota Toombs, an imagineer who worked on the attraction whom Walt Disney himself found so beautiful that he used her likeness in the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. She’s known as Madame Leota, the disembodied head that speaks from the crystal ball. Madame Leota’s voice, which Walt thought too childish, is voiced by the actress Eleanor Audley, who is also the voice of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. You can also see Leota’s likeness and hear her real voice as the little bride who says “Hurry Back” as you leave the attraction.
The inscription reads the inscription on the tombstone reads:
Dear sweet Leota
Beloved by all
In regions beyond now,
But having a ball
Now you know why it says she’s having a ball! Pretty clever.
Leota’s daughter Kim is an imagineer with the Disney company and has even performed as Madame Leota in special events at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland.
Video below of Madame Leota; it’s easy to see why Walt found her features so extraordinary: