class of 1987
Fred MacMurray (film)- Fred was an American actor born August 30, 1908 in Illinois. He was in over 100 films. His first film was released in 1935 and he worked until 1978 when he retired from acting. In 1959 he was cast as the father in The Shaggy Dog. One of his most famous roles was in the TV show My Three Sons. Fred worked on the Disney films The Absent-Minded Professor in 1961 and the sequel Son of Flubber in 1963. In the late 1970s he suffered from throat cancer that returned in 1987. In 1988 he suffered s severe stroke which left his right side paralyzed and his speech impaired but with therapy he made a 90 percent recovery. After a decade long battle with leukemia he passed away at age 83 in 1991, the cause of his death was listed as pneumonia. He was entombed in Holy Cross Cemetery.
class of 1988
Virginia Davis (animation)- Virginia Davis was born December 31, 1918 in Kansas City. During the summer of 1924 she began working at Walt Disney’s Laugh-O-Gram Studios acting in Alice’s Wonderland a film that combined live action and animation. After Laugh-O-Gram closed and Walt moved to California he convinced Virginia’s parents to move to Los Angeles. She continued to work with Walt on the Alice Comedies or Alice in Cartoonland. Virginia continued to act into the late 1930s. In 1943 she married Robert McGhee and had two children. Over the next 25 years she worked in real estate in the various places her family lived. Virginia passed away on August 15, 2009 at age 90 from natural causes.
Norman Palmer (film)- Norman was born October 7, 1918 and was a film and television editor for Disney where he worked for 45 years. He was born and raised in California. In 1940 he was hired in the editorial division of Disney. He edited many films including: The Living Desert, The African Lion, Water Birds, and The Shaggy D.A. During his time he was a mentor to Roy Disney. Normal passed away on March 23, 2013 of natural causes.
class of 1989- all except iwerks were Disney's old nine men
Les Clark (Animation- awarded posthumously)- Leslie James “Les” Clark was born November 17, 1907 in Utah. Les was the first of Walt’s Nine Old Men and was hired to work at the studio right out of high school. He was the only member of Nine Old Men to work on the origins of Mickey Mouse with Ub Iwerks. His first day of work was February 23, 1927 and when he retired in 1975 he was the longest continuously employed member of the studio. Iwerk’s became Clark’s mentor and by 1929 he made his debut as an animator with a scene from The Skeleton Dance. Clark went on to work on: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Clark was Directing Animator on: Song of the South, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, So Dear to My Heart, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Ben and Me, Lady and the Tramp. Clark was Sequence Director for: Sleeping Beauty and Donald in Mathematic Land. Lastly he was a Director for Paul Bunyan. Clark passed away from cancer on September 12, 1979.
Marc Davis (Animation/Imagineering)- Marc Davis was born on March 20, 1913 in California. Davis worked on the following movies: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Song of the South, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, and 101 Dalmatians. He also helped create sketches and characters for many rides including: The Jungle Cruise, The Enchanted Tiki Room, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, The Carousel of Progress, It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, The Country Bear Jamboree, and America Sings. Davis died January 12, 2000 at age 86.
Ub Iwerks (Animation/Imagineering- awarded posthumously)- Ubbe Eert “Ub” Iwerks was born March 24, 1901 in Kansas City, Missouri. Ub’s father came to America from Germany. He is considered to be Walt’s oldest friend. Walt met Ub in 1919 while working at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio in Kansas City. The two went on to work together at Laugh-O-Gram Studios and later Ub followed Walt out to California. Ub worked on the Alice Comedies and was the original animator of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. When Oswald was taken by Universal and most animators left the Disney Studios Ub remained and created Mickey Mouse. Walt and Ub had a falling out and Ub opened Iwerks Studio in 1930. In 1936 backers withdrew funding and the studio closed. Ub went on to produced Looney Toons until his return to Disney in 1940. Ub worked mainly on special effects and is credited as developing the process for combining live action and animation that was used in Song of the South. Ub also helped create many attractions in the 1960s. Outside of Disney animation he is known for his special effect work on Alfred Hitchcock’s The Bird’s. Ub died in 1971 of a myocardial infarction. His son Don went on to become a Disney Legend and his granddaughter Leslie creates documentaries.
Ollie Johnston (Animation)- Oliver “Ollie” Johnston Jr was born October 31, 1912 in California. He was the last surviving Nine Old Men when he passed away from natural causes in 2008 at the age of 95. Ollie was an animator at the Disney Studios from 1935 to 1978. Johnston and Frank Thomas co-authored the reference book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life which had the 12 basic principals of animation. Frank and Ollie’s partnership between Frank and Ollie was presented in Frank and Ollie a documentary produced by Frank’s son Theodore. In 2012 Theodore also produced the documentary Growing up with Nine Old Men and this was featured on the diamond edition of Peter Pan on DVD. Ollie married ink and paint artist Marie Worthey in 1943 and they had two children. Ollie’s hobby was live steam trains and he built his first in 1949, Walt got the idea for the Carolwood Pacific from Ollie. During his time at Disney Studios Ollie worked on the following films as either an Animator or Animating Director: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, The Three Caballeros, Make Music Mine, Song of the South, Melody Time, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, andThe Fox and the Hound. In 2005 Ollie was given the National Medal of Arts.
Milt Kahl (Animation- awarded posthumously)- Milton “Milt” Kahl was born in San Francisco, California on March 22, 1909. Kahl was a mentor to Brad Bird. Milt’s style was inspired by Picasso and Ronald Searle. Milt worked on the following projects: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Bambi, Saludos Amigos, Make Music Mine, Song of the South, Melody Time, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (Ludwig Von Drake), The Sword in the Stone, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and The Rescuers. Milt passed away April 19, 1987 he was 78.
Ward Kimball (Animation/Imagineering)- Ward Kimball was born March 4, 1914 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was a jazz trombonist and founded the seven-piece Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two and he played the trombone. Ward liked to work on comical characters instead of realistic human designs. He created the crows in Dumbo, the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, the Mice and Lucifer and Bruno from Cinderella, Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio, and the famous Three Caballeros musical number. In Neal Cabler’s biography of Walt Disney Ward was the main person in spreading the urban legend that Disney wanted his body to be frozen using cryonics after death. Ward passed away on July 8, 2002.
Eric Larson (Animation- awarded posthumously)- Eric Larson was born September 3, 1905. He started working for Walt Disney Studios in 1933. Eric worked as a animator on: 3 Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, The Three Caballeros, Song of the South, Melody Time, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. He was an Animation Consultant on: The Fox and the Hound, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Black Cauldron, and The Great Mouse Detective. In 1973 Eric started a recruitment training program that brought in a new generation of animators such as Brad Bird, Don Bluth, Chris Buck, Tim Burton, John Lasseter, Phil Nibbelink, and many more. He was one of the longest working employees at Disney having worked there for 53 years. Eric passed away at age 83 in 1988 in California.
John Lounsbery (Animation- awarded posthumously)- John Lounsbery was born March 9, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio. While attending Art Center School of Deisng in Los Angeles an instructor sent him to interview Walt Disney. John was hired by Walt on July 2, 1935. He was an animator on the following movies: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. John was Animation Director for: Dumbo, Song of the South, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Ben and Me, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, Goliath II, 101 Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, and Robin Hood. The was working on The Rescuers when he went in for surgery. His heart failed during the surgery and he passed away February 13, 1976.
Wolfgang Reitherman (Animation- awarded posthumously)- Wolfgang “Woolie” Reitherman was born June 26, 1909 in Munich, Germany. He began working in the Disney Studio in 1934 with Ward and Milt. All three of Woolie’s sons went on to do voice work for Disney. Bruce, Richard, and Robert worked on The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, and The Sword in the Stone. Woolly directed: 101 Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, and The Rescuers. He worked as an Animator on: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Reluctant Dragon, Dumbo, Saludos Amigos, Fun and Fancy Free, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Woolie died in a car accident on May 22, 1985 he was 75 years old.
Frank Thomas (Animation)- Franklin “Frank” Thomas was born in Fresno, California September 5, 1912. He joined the Walt Disney Studio on September 24, 1934 as employee number 224. He was also a member of Ward’s Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two and played the piano. He worked on most of the Disney movies released between 1934 and 1978 when he retired. Frank and Ollie, made cameo voice appearance as two old men in The Incredibles which was released after his death. Frank passed away September 8, 2004.