class of 1990
Roger Broggie (Imagineering)- Roger Broggie was born October 22, 1908 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After graduating high school in the Chicago suburbs he moved to Los Angeles in 1927. Roger had some vocational machine training and worked for Technicolor and Bell and Howell. He also worked at General Service Studios before joining Disney Studios as a machinist in 1939. He worked with Ub Iwerks on specials effects and in 1949 he helped create the model trains for the Carolwood Pacific Railroad at Walt’s home. Roger was promoted to the head of the Disney Studios Machine Shop in 1950 and was the transportation specialist. He worked on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as well as creating the Disneyland Railroad, Disneyland Monorail, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds. His crew helped develop the first fully functioning audio- animatronic human figure, a seated Abraham Lincoln in 1963. In 1973-75 he worked on the EPCOT Center project in Florida. After retiring he continued to consult for Imagineering. He passed away in Carmel, California in 1991. In 2003 the Walt Disney Railroad Stem Engine #3, the Roger E. Broggie was re-dedicated in his honor. On March 30, 2007 he was honored with a window on Main Street USA in Disneyland it reads: Can Do Machine Works, Mechanical Wonders, Live Steam Engines, Magical Illusions, Cameras, Roger Broggie, Shopmaster, Advisor to the Magic Makers”
Joe Fowler- (Attractions) Joe Fowler was born July 9, 1894 in Lewiston, Maine. He attended the United States Naval Academy and then earned a Master’s Degree from MIT in Naval Architecture. During his Naval career he was a rear admiral and in 1948 he retired from the Navy was was recalled briefly during the Korean War. In 1952 Joe was appointed by President Truman to reduce wasteful military spending. He helped oversee the construction of Disneyland and Disney World after his retirement. In 1954 Joe became the naval expert to help with the building of the paddle steamer Mark Twain for Disneyland. Two other men were hired to help but Joe was hired as the construction boss of the whole Disneyland project. After the park opened he stayed on as General Manager for the first 10 years then assisted with construction at Disney World. In 1978 he retired from the company but stayed on as a consultant. In Disneyland the dock across from the Haunted Mansion is named Fowler’s Harbor. In 1999 one of the ferries that takes guests in Disney World from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom was renamed Admiral Joe Fowler. Joe passed away December 6, 1993.
John Hench- (Animation & Imagineering)- John Hench was born June 29, 1908 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended serve art schools before ending up in California as a story artist. John started working at Walt Disney Studios in 1939 and worked his way through the animation department working in areas such as background, layout, art direction, effects animation, and special effects. Walt respected him as one of the most gifted artists in the studio. John was the official portrait artist for Mickey Mouse painting his portrait for his 25, 50, 60, 70, and 75 birthday. The was the story creator for Destino. John worked as an artist, art supervisor, snimation effects, and special effts during his career at Disney. After winning an Academy Award for Best Special Effects for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea he moved to Walt Disney Imagineering where he worked mainly on Disneyland. He worked on Tomorrowland, New Orleans Square, Adventureland buildings, and Snow White’s Grotto. He later worked on Space Mountain and Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom and parts of EPCOT at Disney World in Florida. He helped create the Oriental Land Company for Tokyo Disneyland. Outside of Disney he worked on the 1960 Winter Olympic Torch. John continued to work at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, California until a few weeks before his death. He passed away due to heart failure on February 5, 2004. He had been an employee of the Walt Disney Company for 65 years.
Richard Irvine- (Imagineering-awarded posthumously) Richard Irvine was born April 10, 1910. He was nominated for an Academy Award for the film Sundown.Richard worked on 31 movies between 1939 and 1953. In 1952 Walt asked Richard to help construct Disneyland. He worked as a senior figure at Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) until his retirement in 1973. He became executive vice president and chief operations officer in 1967. Richard’s daughter Maggie also worked for WDI and his daughter in-law Kim also works at WDI. Richard passed away on March 30, 1976. In his honor on of the original Disney World riverboats were named after him.
Herb Ryman- (Imagineering-awarded posthumously) Herbert Ryman was born June 28, 1910 in Vernon, Illinois. Herb was very sick with scarlet fever as a child and then his parents agree he could attend art school where he graduated cum laude in 1932. After graduation he moved to California were he started working as a storyboard illustrator at Metro-Golden-Mayer or MGM. His last work at MGM was The Wizard of Oz. In 1938 after returning from China he met Walt and was invited to join the company. During his time he worked as art director on: Fantasia and Dumbo. Herb worked as art supervisor on: Saludos Amigos. He was a layout artist on: The Three Caballeros. In 1944 Herb announced he was leaving the Walt Disney Studio to go to Fox to work on Anna and the King of Siam. In September 1953 Walt and Herb who remained friends sat down to talk about Walt’s plans for a theme park, they worked non-stop for a weekend creating sketches. Once the park got financing Walt asked Herb to rejoin the company to develop Disneyland. He helped create: Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Main Street USA, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean. He went on to develop attractions for the 1964 New York World Fair. Herb worked on some buildings at Disney World and at Tokyo Disneyland. He retired in 1971 but was working on concept drawings for Main Street in Disneyland Paris when he got sick. Herb passed away February 10, 1989.
Richard and Robert Sherman- (Music) Richard Sherman was bon in New York City on June 12, 1928. Richard and his brother Robert born December 19, 1925 were known as the Sherman brothers. The family moved to California in 1937. In 1958 the Sherman Brothers had their first top ten hit with “Tall Paul” sang by Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. The success of this song caught Walt’s attention and he hired them as staff songwriters. Their first song for Disney was “Medfield Fight Song: from the Absent Minded Professor. One of their most successful songs was: It’s a Small World which was written for the 1964 World’s Fair attraction. In 1965 they won an Academy Award for their songs from Mary Poppins. They worked on music for: The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, The Parent Trap, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Benknobs and Broomsticks, The Tigger Movie, as well as many non Disney movies. They have also worked on some Broadway works. On November 17, 2008 the Sherman Brothers were awarded the National Medal of Arts by Georg W. Bush at the White House. The brothers were presented a window on Main Street USA in Disneyland on March 11, 2010. Robert Sherman died in London on March 6, 2012 from age related illness. (Robert and Richard were given separate Legend awards)
class of 1991
Ken Anderson- (Animation, Imagineering) Kenneth Anderson was born March 17, 1909. He studied architecture at the University of Washington and graduated in 1934. Not long after graduation he started working at Disney. He was a writer for: Melody Time, So Dear to My Heart, Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and The Rescuers. Ken was art director for: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Ferdinand the Bull, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Reluctant Dragon, Song of the South, Ben and Me, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and The Sword in the Stone. Ken worked as an animator on: The Goddess of Spring, Three Orphan Kittens, Ferdinand the Bull, Saludos Amigos, Fun and Fancy Free, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Pete’s Dragon. He also worked in the art department for: The Three Caballeros, Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier, and Pete’s Dragon. Later in his career he worked as an architect and designer for Disneyland and then EPCOT. Ken died from a stroke at the age of 84 on January 13, 1993.
Julie Andrews- (Film) Julia Wells was born October 1, 1935 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England. Her mother was Barbara Ward Wells and her father was Edward Charles “Ted” Wells. At the start of World War II her parents divorced and both remarried. Barbara married Ted Andrews a performer in 1939 and Ted to a former hairstylist. Julie lived with her father for sometime before he decided she would be better living with her mother and stepfather since both were performing for the troops and her brother John remained with their father. Life for the Andrews wasn’t always happy but later as they settled into London Ted began to pay for lessons for Julie. Her first lessons were at the Cone-Ripman School which is now known as ArtsEd and then with concert soprano Madame Lilian Stiles-Allen who Julie looked at as her third mother. Julie began performing un-billed with her mother and step-father in 1945. In 1947 she started performing as a solo artist and in 1948 she became the youngest solo performer at the London Palladium. Shortly before her 19th birthday she made her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend. At the end of that contract she auditioned for the stager version of My Fair Lady. In 1963 she began work on her first film Mary Poppins. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress and Golden Globe for Best Actress, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Album for Children with the rest of the crew. Julie went on to act in The Sound of Music in 1965 and several other films and television shows in the late 1960s-1990s. In 1997 she had surgery to remove non-cancerous nodules and the surgery left permanent damage to her singing voice. She had 4 surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital to correct her speaking voice. In 2001 she stared in The Princess Diaries and it’s sequel The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement in 2004. Julie appeared as a nanny in two TV Eloise movies: Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime. In 2005-2006 Julie was the Official Ambassador for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. Julie continues to act and has worked on children’s books with one of her daughters.
Carl Barks- (Animation, Publishing) Carl Barks was born March 27, 1901. He was known as The Duck Man because of his work on Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck. He worked with the Disney Studio and Western Publishing where he created comics. Carl started at Disney Studio in November 1935. He started as an “inbetweener”, an animator that did work between the key actions. By 1937 he was working in the story department. He worked on: Donald’s Nephews, Donald’s Cousin Gus, Mr. Duck Steps Out, Timber, The Vanishing Private, and The Plastic Inventor. Carl quit the studio with the wartime working conditions in 1942. He worked on a few Disney comic books until being hired at Western Publishing who was producing the Disney comics. Carl worked with Donald, Huey, Dewey, Louie, and the newly created Scrooge McDuck as well as several other characters. In 1960 his work as the comic animatos was exposed and was in the spotlight being invited to conventions. Carl retired in 1966 but did some work for Western until 1968. To make money he began selling oil paintings at local art shows. Carl made various appearances at comic book conventions in the 1970s-1990s. Carl passed away August 25, 2000.
Mary Blair- (Animation, Imagineering- awarded posthumously) Mary Robinson was born October 21, 1911 in McAlester, Oklahoma. She moved to Texas as a child and then Morgan Hill, California. After graduating from San Jose State Collage she was a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. In 1934 after college she married another artist Lee Everett Blair. Mary’s first job was at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer then she went to UB Iwerks Studio with her husband before she moved to Disney in 1940. She began working on: Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia. Mary left the studio and returned in 1941 to travel South American countries with Walt, Lillian, and other artists. Mary then worked on: Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. She would continue at Disney for another decade. During that time she worked on Fun and Fancy Free, Song of the South, So Dear to My Heart, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. After finishing Peter Pan she resigned and freelanced creating advertising campaigns for several large companies. Mary illustrated several Little Golden Books that are still in print. Walt asked Mary to work on It’s a Small World for the World Fair and it later moved to Disneyland. Mary created several murals in Disney parks and hotels such as the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. She moved to California after living in Washington and New York. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage on July 26, 1978.
Claude Coats- (Animation, Imagineering) Claude Coats was born on January 17, 1913. He grew up in Los Angeles and attended University of Southern California on an athletic scholarship. After finishing with a bachelors degrees in drawing he attending the Chouinard Art Institute and studied watercolor. Claude was an apprentice in background painting at Disney Studios in 1935. He worked on Disney films for 20 years starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In 1955 he joined the WED team to help design Disneyland. Claude later worked on the Magic Kingdom and Epcot at Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. He passed away January 9, 1992 in Burbank California.
Don DaGradi- (Animation, Film- awarded posthumously) Don DaGradi was born in 1911 and started working for Disney Studios in the 1940s as a layout artist. The first feature he worked on was Lady and the Tramp in 1955. He won a Oscar with Bill Walsh for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1964 for Mary Poppins. Don passed away on August 4, 1991 in Washington. In Saving Mr. Banks he was portrayed by Bradley Whitford.
Sterling Holloway- (Animation-Voice) Sterling Holloway is voice of many timeless Disney characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Mr Stork (Dumbo), Adult Flower(Bambi), Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland), Kaa (The Jungle Book), and Roquefort (The Artisocats). He was born January 4, 1905 and named after his father. Sterling attended Georgia Military Academy until 1920 when he left for New York City. In New York he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He started taking parts from the Theatre Guild and in 1926 he moved to Hollywood to start a film career. He usually appeared in comedies due to his appearance. During World War II he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to special services where he helped develop “Hey Rookie” that raised 350,000 dollars. Sterling’s first work with Disney was in 1941 for Dumbo. He passed away November 22, 19992 due to cardiac arrest. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean. Sterling was never married but had an adopted son named Richard.
Fess Parker- (Film, Television) Fess Parker was born August 16, 1924 in Forth Worth, Texas. He is best known for his work as Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. Fess enlisted in the Navy during World War II hoping to be a pilot but was turned down due to his 6 feet 6 inch height. He then attempted to be a radioman gunner but was too big. He was transferred to the Marine Corps as a radio operator. After the war he attended Hardin-Simmons University and then the University of Texas. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in history. He studied drama at the University of Southern California. In the summer of 1951 he was an extra in the play Mister Roberts. Fess had a contract with Warner Brothers and appeared in small roles. He was asked to visit the Disney Studio and brought his guitar, he briefly met with Walt and sang a song. A few weeks later he heard that he had been chosen to play Davy Crockett. The three episode miniseries was the first of it’s kind and showed Crockett as a frontiersman, congressman, and hero of the Alamo. The series was a hit and Fess became a contracted Disney star. He went on to appear in: The Great Locomotive Chase, Westward Ho, the Wagons!, Old Yeller, and The Light in the Forest. Fess became upset when he was only offered a small role in Tonka and left Disney Studios. He continued to work on TV making guest appearances until he was offered the role of Daniel Boone. The show lasted from 1964-1970. After the show Fess retired from acting at age 49. Fess and his family opened Fess Parker Family Winery and Vineyards in Los Olivos, California. Fess died of natural causes March 18, 2010 in California. In 2004 he was honored with a tribute window in the Frontierland section of Disneyland.
Bill Walsh- (Film, Television-awarded posthumously) Bill Walsh was born September 30, 1913 in New York City. He was a comic author and film producer. He worked on: The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Mary Poppins, That Darn Cat!, Lt. Robin Crusoe, The Love Bug, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Herbie Rides Again, andOne of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing. He won an Oscar with Don DaGradi for Mary Poppins in 1964. He passed away January 27, 1975 in Los Angeles.
class of 1992
Jimmie Dodd- (Television-awarded posthumously) James Dodd was born March 28, 1910 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jimmie was in many movies in the 1940s and 50s some of them uncredited. He was best known as the MC of the 1950s Mickey Mouse Club. He was the writer of “The Mickey Mouse Club.” He died of cancer on November 10, 1964 in Hawaii.
Bill Evans- (Imagineering) Morgan “Bill” Evans was born June 10, 1910. He was a horticulturalist who helped with landscape design for Disneyland as well as many other Disney parks. Bill met Walt through his nursery business. After helping plan out Disneyland Bill became a planner, consultant, and maintenance supervisor at the park. He later became the director of landscape architecture. He retired in 1975 but continued to work on landscape design for EPCOT, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Typhoon Lagoon, MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios), and Animal Kingdom in Florida. Bill passed away at the age of 92 in Malibu, California.
Annette Funicello- (Film,television) Annette Funicello was born October 22, 1942 in Utica, New York. She began her a career at age 12 as a Mouseketeer on the original Mickey Mouse Club. After the Mickey Mouse Club she continued to work on Disney movies such as: Zorro, The Housemasters, The Shaggy Dog, Babes in Toyland, and The Money’s Uncle. As she got older she transitioned into a singer and later a film actress in the 1960s. In 1992 Annette announced she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and died of complications of the disease on April 8, 2013.
Joe Grant- (Animation) Joe Grant was born May 15, 1908 in New York City. He started working for Disney in 1933 and his first work was “Mickey’s Gala Premiere.” He left the studio in 1949 and returned in 1989. He worked on the popular movies: Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Fantasia 2000, and Chicken Little. He also worked on two Pixar movies: Monsters, Inc and Up. He worked 4 days a week up until his death from a heart attack a few days before his 97 birthday.
Jack Hannah- (Animation) Jack Hannah was born January 5, 1913 in Nogales, Arizona. He moved to Los Angeles in 1931 to study at the Art Guild Academy. In 1933 he dropped his portfolio at Disney Studios and was soon hired as an in-between and clean-up artist working with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the Silly Symphonies. In the 1950s he and Walt had words about production and he left the company. Jack passed away at age 81 in Burbank California.
Winston Hibler- (Film-awarded posthumously) Winston Hibler was born October 8, 1910 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was a screenwriter, film producer, director, and narrator at the Disney Studios. He was a narrator for: Seal Island, In Beaver Valley, Nature’s Half Acre, Water Birds, Bear Country, The Vanishing Prairie, White Wilderness, and The Best of Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventures. He was a screenwriter for: Melody Time, The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Living Desert, The Vanishing Prairie, Perri, Sleeping Beauty, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and The Best of Walt Disney’s True- Life Adventures. He died August 8, 1976 in Burbank, California.
Ken O’Connor- (Animation, Imagineering) Ken O’Connor was born June 7, 1908 in Australia. In 1935 he joined Disney Studio where he worked on 13 features and many more shorts. Some of the movies he worked on were: Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Fantasia, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Make Mine Music, Melody Time, Peter Pan, and Lady and the Tramp. Ken retired in 1978. He taught layout and art design at the California Institute of the Arts or CalArts which Walt help found. Ken died May 27, 1998 in Burbank, California.
Roy Williams- (Animation, Television) Roy was born July 30, 1907 in Colville, Washington. He was raised in Los Angeles and after high school he was hired as an artist by Walt Disney in 1930. He worked on animated shorts while attending Chouinard Art Institute at night. Roy created the mouse ears for the Mickey Mouse Club where he was featured as an adult Mouseketeer for 4 seasons. He died November 7, 1976 in Burbank, California.
class of 1993
Pinto Colvig- (Animation-Voice, awarded posthumously) Vanca DeBar “Pinto” Colvig was born September 11, 1892 in Jacksonvile, Oregon. He worked as an actor, newspaper cartoonist, voice actor, and circus performer. Pinto was the original Bozo The Clown. Starting in 1916 Pinto was working at the Animated Flim Corp in San Francisco. His first work for Disney was the voice of Grumpy and Sleepy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He did continued to work for Disney and his voice was featured in: The Three Little Pigs, and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Pinto also was the original voice of Goofy.
Buddy Ebsen-(Film, TV) Christina Ludolf “Buddy” Ebsen Jr. was born Apirl 2, 1908 in Belleville, Illinois. He was a character actor and dancer. Buddy worked for over seven decades. Buddy’s break-through role was supposed to be in The Wizard of Oz but he was hospitalized because of an allergic reaction to the tin man costume. During World War II Buddy was a part of the US Coast Guard. One of his most famous roles was played Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. His other famous roles include playing Barnaby Jones and Georgie Russell in Davy Crockett. Buddy passed away from respiratory failure on July 6, 2003.
Peter Ellenshaw-(Film) William Samuel Cook “Peter” Ellenshaw was borb May 24, 1913 in London. Peter moved to America in 1953 but began working for Disney in 1950 on Treasure Island. When he relocated to America he continued to work for Disney on: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Mary Poppins. Peter won an Academy Award for his work on Mary Poppins. In 1979 he retired and dedicated his life to painting. Peter’s son Harrison is also an Academy Award winning effects designer. Peter passed away February 12, 2007.
Blaine Gibson-(Animation, Imagineering) Blaine Gibson was born February 11, 1918 in Colorado. He started working at the Disney Studios in 1939. While there he animated: Fantasia, Bambi, Song of the South, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He also worked as a sculptor and was first assigned to the Disneyland project he was doing both sculpting and animating. In 1961 he moved to WED full-time. While there he worked on many attractions including: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Pirated of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. Up until 2001 Blain created every presidential sculpture for the Hall of Presidents. He retired in 1993 but continued to work on certain attractions for the company. Blaine passed away at the age of 97 on July 5, 2015.
Harper Goff-(Film, Imagineering-awarded posthumously) Harper Goff was born March 16, 1911 in Colorado. During World War II was an advisor to the US Army on camouflage. After the war he was a set designer for Warner Brothers and later met Walt Disney at a London train shop. He created most of the effects for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Harper worked on concepts for Disneyland. He was also played banjo in Firehouse Five Plus Two with Ward Kimball. Harper passed away on March 3, 1993.
Irving Ludwig-(Film) Irving Ludwig was born in Russia and immigrated to the US in 1920 and started to show business in 1929. In 1940 he began working at Disney Studios and the first film he helped manage was Fantasia. Irving also worked on Mary Poppins, The Love Bug, The Shaggy Dog, The Parent Trap, and The Absent Minded Professor. He helped created Buena Vista Distribution. In 1959 he became the president of Buena Vista and remained in that position until he retired in 1980.
Jimmy MacDonald- (Animation-Voice, awarded posthumously) John James “Jimmy” MacDonald was born May 19, 1906 in Crewe, Cheshire. His family moved to America when he was 6 months old. Jimmy was working as a musician on the Dollar Steam Ship Lines which led to a chance to record music for a Disney cartoon. He went on to be employed by Disney and became head of the sound department. Jimmy was the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1947 to 1977. He did the yodeling and sounds for Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Jimmy did voice effects for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He retired in 1977 and passed away from heart failure on February 1, 1991.
Clarence Nash- (Animation-Voice, awarded posthumously) Clarence “Ducky” Nash was born December 7, 1904 in Watonga, Oklahoma. Clarence worked on the radio making unique voices and in Walt thought he was perfect to voice the talking duck in The Wise Little Hen. The character was Donald Duck and Clarence would be his voice for over 50 years. His last work as Donald in 1983 in Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Clarence was also the original voice of Tom in Tom and Jerry. He passed away from leukemia on February 20, 1985.
Donn Tatum- (Administration) Donn Tatum was born January 9, 1913. In 1956 be became business manager and then in 1971 he became chief executive and board chairman. After the death of Roy O Disney he became the first non Disney family member to head the company. Donn was CEO until 1976. On June 3, 1980 he retired as chairman. He stayed on the board as executive committee chair. During his years with the company he played a major role in Disney World, EPCOT, and Tokyo Disneyland. Donn passed away from cancer May 31, 1993.
Card Walker- (Administration) Esmond Cardon “Card” Walker was born January 9, 1916 in Rexburg, Idaho. After Walt passed away Card became Executive Vice President and Chielf Operating Officer. When Roy I passed in 1971 be became company President serving under Donn Tatum. In 1976 he took over CEO duties from Tatum but remained president. In 1983 Card retired after Tokyo Disneyland opened. Card continued to be a member of the Disney Bard until 2000 and had served over 50 years. He passed away at age 89 on November 28, 2005.
class of 1995
Adriana Caselotti- (Animation-Voice) Adriana Caselotti was born May 6, 1916 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to parents who had been born in Italy. She was the first woman to receive the Disney Legend ward in the voice category. Adriana worked for MGM prior to her work voicing Snow White for Disney. After Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs she had small roles in other movies. In 1972 she was featured on an episode of The Julie Andrews Hour where she sang “I’m Wishing” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” with Julie Andrews. Later in her life she wrote the book Do You Like to Sing? Adriana passed away from respiratory failure from lung cancer on January 18, 1997.
Bill Cottrell- (Animation, Imagineering) Bill “Uncle Bill” Cottrell was born in 1906 in South Bend Indiana. He was the first president of WED (Walt Disney Imagineering). Bill began working at the Disney Studio in 1929. He helped direct sequences in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He married Hazel Sewell, the sister of Lillian Disney in 1938. When working on Disneyland he liked to use the word experience instead of ride since he wanted the park to be about experiences. In 1964 he became president of Retlaw Enterprises which was part of the Walt Disney family and he remained in the position until his retirement in 1982. Bill passed away December 22, 1995.
Marvin Davis- (Film, Imagineering) Marvin Davis was born December 21, 1910 in Clovis, New Mexico. After college he worked for 20th Century Fox as an art director. He joined WED in 1953 at the urging of his friend Dick Irvine. After Disneyland opened Marvin moved back to directing and worked on: Moon Pilot, Babes in Toyland, Big Red. He also worked on the TV series Zorro and Mickey Mickey Mouse Club. He also worked on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and received an Emmy Award for art direction. Marvin moved back to WED to work on Disney World. In 1975 he retired. Marvin passed away March 8, 1998 in California.
Van France- (Attractions) Van Arsdale France is the man who established the process for training employees in Disney parks. Before his work at Disney Van worked as the director of education at General Dynamics Fort Worth location. He later worked as an educational consultant for the US Army. In 1955 Van started working Disneyland where he had various roles over the years including an area manager, training employees, and working as coordinator for “Backstage Disneyland” a cast member magazine. In 1978 he retired and became a special consultant. Van passed away at the age of 87 in 1999.
David Hand- (Animation, awarded posthumously) David Hand was born January 23, 1900 in Plainfield, New Jersey. He began animating the Out of the Inkwell cartoons and joined Disney studio in 1930. David’s early work included the Silly Symphonies. He later was a supervising director on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, and Mickey Mouse shorts. In 1944 he left the studio and went to England to work at Gaunt British Animation. In 1950 he returned to the US and moved to Colorado where he worked at the Alexander Film Company. David passed away October 11, 1986
Jack Lindquist- (Attractions) Jack Lindquist was born March 15, 1927 in Chicago. Jack began working for Disney in 1955 shortly after Disneyland opened as an advertising manager. By 1965 he was Director of Marketing and then Nice Present of Marketing when Disney World opened in 1972. In 1976 his title changed to Vice President of Marketing for Walt Disney Attractions. When Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1982 Jack became Executive Vice President of Marketing and Entertainment. In 1990 he became President of Disneyland and remained in that position until he retired in 1993.
Bill Martin- (Imagineering) Bill Martin was born on June 15, 1917 in Iowa. After college he worked for Twenty Century Fox as a set director but left to serve during World War II. After the war he worked for Panoramic Productions and then returned to Fox as an assistant art director. Bill joined Walt Disney Imagineering formerly WED and toured the country to look at amusement parks. He became art director for Fantasyland. In 1971 he became vice president of WED and oversaw the layout of the Magic Kingdom in Florida. In 1977 he retired but helped oversea the Italy and Mexico Pavilions for Epcot and Tokyo Disneyland’s master layout. Bill passed away August 2, 2010.
Paul J. Smith- (Music, awarded posthumously) Paul J. Smith was born October 30, 1906 in Michigan. Paul was a music composer and spent most of his career with Disney. His main collaborator was Hazel “Gil” George. Paul won an Academy Award for Best Original Score with Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Pinocchio. He passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease on January 25, 1985.
Frank Wells- (Administration, awarded posthumously) Franklin “Frank” Wells was born Mary 4, 1932 in California. Frank was the 1953 recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship and with that he obtained his BA from Oxford University. Before working for Disney Frank was Vice President of West Coast at Warner Brothers in 1969 and then President in 1973. From 1977 until he left the company in 1982 he was Vice Chairman. Roy E Disney and Stanley Gold recruited Frank to be Disney’s President and Chief Operating Officer to work with Michael Eisner as Chairman and CEO to get rid of CEO/President Ron Miller. Frank remained President until his death in a helicopter accident in 1994.
class of 1995
Wally Boag- (Attractions) Wallace “Wally” Boag was born September 13, 1920 in Portland, Oregon. He joined a professional dance team at age nine and by nineteen he has moved to comedy. He toured the world and while in London he brought a 12 year old Julie Andrews onstage to help with a balloon act. In 1945 he signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appeared in several moves. In 1950s while in Australia he met Donald Novis who had Wally audition for Walt for the Golden Horseshoe Revue a 45 minute show in Disneyland. Wally played a Pecos Bill/Traveling Salesman character. In 1963 Julie Andrews made a special press only event to promote Mary Poppins. Wally voiced Jose in The Enchanted Tiki Room and helped create The Haunted Mansion. He had small roles in The Absent-Minded Professor and Son of Flubber. In 1971 Wally went to Disney World to work at the Diamond Horseshoe Revue. He remained there for 3 years then returned to Disneyland until 1982 when he retired. Wally has a window on Main Street in Disneyland- “Theatrical Agency-Goden Vaudeville Routines- Wally Boag, Prop” An autobiography "Wally Boag, Clown Prince of Disneyland” was released in 2009. Wally passed away June 3, 2011.
Fulton Burley- (Attractions) Fulton Burley was born June 12, 1922 in Toronto. Fulton came to the US in 1943 after a telephone audition landed him a lead in the Diamond Horseshoe Revue on Broadway. In 1962 he was working in Las Vegas when Wally Boag called and asked him to come to Disneyland to work in the Golden Horseshoe Revue. Fulton later voiced the Irish parrot Michael in The Enchanted Tiki Room. In 1987 Fulton retired. In 1997 Fulton reprised his role for the Magic Kingdom’s version of The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) with Wally Boad and Thurl Ravenscroft. Fulton passed away from heart failure on May 7, 2007 at the age of 84.
Dean Jones-(Film) Dean Jones was born January 25, 1931 in Decatur, Alabama. After some small television and movie roles Dean made his Broadway debut in 1960. Between 1967 and 1977 Dean was cast in various Disney movies including: The Darn Cat!, The Ugly Dachshund, Blackbeard’s Ghost, Snowball Express, The Love Bug, and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. Dean also continued his role as Jim Douglas in the Herbie, the Love Bug TV series and the 1997 TV movie The Love Bug. Dean passed away from Parkinson’s disease on September 1, 2015.
Angela Lansbury-(Film) Angela Lansbury was born October 16, 1925 in London. Her mother was an actress from Northern Ireland named Moyna Macgill and her father was an English politician Edgar Lansbury. In 1940 Angela and her family moved to New York and she began to study acting. When she moved to Los Angeles in 1942 she signed with MGM and started in her first movies in 1944. Angela continued to work in movies and on stage until 1971 when she starred in Bedknobs and Broomsticks for Disney. From 1984-1996 Angela starred in the TV series Murder, She Wrote as Jessica Fletcher. In 1991 Angela was the voice of Mrs. Pots in Beauty and the Beast. She continues to do stage work and has won many lifetime achievement awards.
Edward Meck- (Attractions-awarded posthumously) Edward “Eddie” Meck was born in Wisconsin in 1899. Eddie began working for Disney a few months before Disneyland opened. He was a publicist and suggested to Walt that they invite reporters in and let them see Disneyland for what it was. Eddie passed away in 1973.
Fred Moore-(Animation-awarded posthumously) Robert “Freddie” Moore was born September 7, 1911 in Los Angeles. Fred was famous for redesigning Mickey for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” in Fantasia. Other movies he worked on included: The Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Alice In Wonderland, Make Mine Music, and Peter Pan. During production of Peter Pan he and his wife were killed in a car accident on November 23, 1952.
Thurl Ravenscroft-(Animation-Voice) Thurl Ravenscroft was born February 6, 1914 in Nebraska. He is a voice actor famous for being the voice behind Tony the Tiger’s “They’re great!” in Kellogg commercials for more then 5 decades. He is also the vocalist on “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Thurl’s voice acting career started in 1940 and lasted until his death. He provided his voice for the popular Disney attractions: The Haunted Mansion, Country Bear Jamboree, The Mark Twain Riverboat, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disneyland Railroad, and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Thurl also provided his voice for songs or small characters within Disney movies such as: The Lady and the Tramp, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Saludos Amigos, Melody Time, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone and many more. Thurl passed away from prostrate cancer on May 22, 2005.
Wathel Rogers-(Imagineering) Wathel Rogers was born June 29, 1919 in Colorado. He started working at the Disney Studios in 1939 as an assistant animator. During War War II he enlisted in the Marine Corps to serve as a staff sergeant. After the war he returned to the studios and continued to work on movies and later creating props and miniatures for live action movies. In 1954 Walt asked Wathel to help develop the model shop for Disneyland. Wattle helped develop many attractions for the parks and became known as “Mr. Audio-Animatronics.” His most famous attractions were: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jungle Cruise. Wattle passed away August 25, 2000.
Betty Taylor-(Attractions) Betty Taylor was born October 7, 1919 in Washington. She was an actress most famous for her role as Slue Foot Sue, Pecos Bill’s sweetheart in Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue. Betty retired from the revue in 1987. She passed away June 4, 2011 a day after her co-star Wally Boag.
class of 1996
Bob Allen- (Attractions, awarded posthumously) Bob Allen was born February 4, 1932 in California. He served in the Navy during the Korean War and after while attending college he applied to work at Disneyland. Bob started as a ride operator in 1955, his job was to monitor the Casey Jr. Circus Train and blow a whistle if anyone fell off. Within a few years he was a manager of the Golden Horseshoe Revue then manager of guest relations and by 1963 he was a production coordinator. In 1964 Bob moved to Denver to work at the Celebrity Sports Center which was owned by Disney. In 1968 he returned to Disneyland as staff assistant to the ice president of Disneyland and director of General Services. In 1970 he moved to Florida to serve as director of General Services at Disney World and then he became vice president of the Resorts Division. In 1977 he was promoted to vice president of Disney World a role he help until he passed away on November 8, 1987. Bob was also chairman of the Central Florida Economic Development Advisory Council and spent much of his free time volunteering in Orlando.
Rex Allen- (Film, TV) Rex Allen was born December 31, 1920 in Arizona. He started singing at a young age and got a start as a rodeo star after high school. In 1948 he signed with Mercury Records and made several successful country albums. In 1949 Republic Pictures gave him a screen test and put him under contract. In his first few movies his sidekick was Buddy Ebsen then Slim Pickens and gained the nickname “The Arizona Cowboy.” In the 1960s Rex became a narrator in Disney Nature films. He was also the voice of the father on the Carousel of Progress. Rex passed away December 17, 1999 after being accidentally run over in his driveway by a caretaker. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
X Atencio-(Animation, Imagineering) Francis Xavier Atencio or X Atencio was born September 4, 1919 in Colorado. He became a Disney artist in 1938 and became an Imagineer in 1965. He wrote the lyrics for “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me) and was the voice of the talking skull in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. X also wrote the lyrics for “Grim Grinning Ghosts (The Screaming Song)” for the Haunted Mansion and his voice can be heard coming from the coffin in the conservatory as well as the voice when the ride stops “Playful spooks have interrupted our tour. Please remain seated in your Doom Buggy.” X retired from the Disney Company in 1984.
Betty Lou Gerson-(Animation-Voice) Betty Lou Gerson was born April 20, 1914 in Tennessee. She began working on radio soap operas when she was in her early 20s. Betty is famous for voicing the narrator in Cinderella and Cruella de Vil in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. She passed away after suffering a major stroke at the age of 84 on January 12, 1999.
Bill Justice-(Animation, Imagineering) William “Bill” Justice was born February 9,1914 in Ohio. He joined Disney Studios as an animator in 1937 and during his career worked on 19 features and 57 shorts. In 1965 he moved to Disney Imagineering where he worked on Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Country Bear Jamboree. Bill retired from the company in 1979. He died of natural causes February 10, 2011 one day after his 97th birthday.
Bob Matheison-(Attractions) Bob Matheison was born January 30, 1934 in Oregon. In 1960 he received a call from a college friend who offered him a job at Disneyland as a sound coordinator. Over the years he was manager of Guest Relations, producer of live Disney radio programs, oversee ride building, and head the research and development team for Disney World. In 1969 Bob was given the position of director of operations at Disneyland and in 1970 he moved to Florida with the same title. Bob later held the positions of vice president of operations, vice president of Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, and executive vice president of parks. Bob retired in 1994 after working for the company for 34 years.
Sam McKim-(Attractions) Sam McKim was born December 20, 1924 in Canada. His family moved to Los Angeles and he started acted in westerns at the age of 10. Sam was originally offered a position in Disney Studios while in high school but he decided to wait. He served in the army and then went to art school. After being laid off by Fox Studios in 1954 he went to work for Disney. He drew material for many attractions. He is most famous for creating the souvenir maps for Disneyland between 1958-1964. In 1992 he created a new map for the opening of Disneyland Paris. Sam passed away July 9, 2004.
Bob Moore-(Animation, Film) Bob Moore was born April 21, 1920. His father was a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and recorded music for early Mickey Mouse shorts. Bob joined Disney Studio as an apprentice animator in 1940. After helping to animate many features he was asked to head art department publicity and he remained in this position for 30 years, here he created special promotional posters and the Walt Disney postage stamp. Bb retired in 1983. He passed away November 20, 2001.
Bill Peet-(Animation-Story) William “Bill” Peed was born January 29, 1915 in Indiana. He started working at Disney Studios in 1937 and helped work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs near the end of its production. He worked on all the features until The Jungle Book when Bill and Walt got into a fight and Bill left the studio. After leaving the studio Bill worked as a writer and illustrator of children’s books. He passed away at the age of 87 on May 11, 2002.
Joe Potter-(Attractions, awarded posthumously) William “Joe” Potter was born July 17, 1905. He was Governor of the Panama Canal Zone from 1956-1960. Je met Walt at the New York World’s Fair and came on to help with the construction of Disney World. He helped build the underground utilities and infrastructure. One of the three ferries that brings guests to the Magic Kingdom from Transportation and Ticket Center is named after him. Joe passed away December 5, 1988.
Class of 1997- this ceremony was held at Disneyland paris to celebrate it's 5th anniversary, all legends are from europe
Lucien Ades-(Music,awarded posthumously) Lucien Ades was born January 20, 1920 in Algeria. He served in the French Armed Forces during World War II. After the war he relocated to Paris and opened a bookstore. He created his first read-along record album and soon after sold his bookshop then contacted the French offices of Disney Productions. There he met Armand Bigle a fellow Disney Legend. in 1953 the first French Disney read along was published to success and 4 years later a “storyteller” album came to the United States. Lucien’s record company Ades Editions produced many read-alongs books for Disney in France. In 1988 he sold his company to Machete Publishing and worked for them for 2 years before retiring. Lucien passed away July 17, 1992 in Paris.
Angel Angelopoulos-(Publishing, awarded posthumously) Alkaios “Angel” Angelopoulos was born August 8, 1907 in Greece. He served in World War II in the Greek Resistance. In the early 1950s he worked on publishing Encyclopedias and published Mickey Mouse Weekly, the first Greek Disney magazine. Angel worked to fight bootleg Disney merchandise in Greece. He passed away May 13, 1990 in Greece.
Antionio Bertini-(Character Merchandise) Antonio Bertini was born January 13, 1927 in Italy. He joined the Disney Company in 1960 as an assistant to the Italian sales representative. During his first month on the job he negotiated new contracts to create items such as table clothes and toys. Within a year he was promoted to sales manager and invited to join the Board of Directors. Two years later Roy O Disney named Antionio president of Walt Disney Creations S.p.A. In 1990 after 30 years of service he retired.
Armand Bigle-(Character Merchandise) Armand Bigle was born November 13, 1917 in Paris. During World War II he worked for a news agency serving Western Europe. In 1946 he was interviewing Walt when Walt started asking him questions. For a year he received letters from the company until Roy O Disney traveled to meet him in Belgium. Armand founded his own company, Screpta Brussels, which was a Disney representative. He started Mickey Magazine that solve more then 60,000 copies a week in Belgium. Due to the success of the magazine Roy asked him to relocate to Paris and serve as premier European special sales representative. After 40 years with the company Armand retired in 1988. He passed away August 25, 2007.
Gaudenzio Capelli-(Publishing) Gaudenzino was born December 7, 1929 in Italy. After serving in the Italian Army he found an editorial position at Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. He was a reader and translator ofTopolino. He went on to work on Enciclopedia Disney and Enciclopedia Disney Geografica. After his editor in chief Mario Gentilini retired in 1980 he assumed that position. Gaudenzio helped found the Disney Academy in Milan. He retired in March 1994 after working for Disney for 33 years.
Roberto de Leonardis-(Film, awarded posthumously) Roberto de Leonardis was born February 14, 1913 in Italy. His father was an admiral in the Italian Navy and Roberto attended Military Academy and graduated as an officer. During World War II his ship he was captain of was captured and he was taken prisoner in China and was not freed until 1945. While being held as a prisoner he learned American English from American soldiers. After the war he was hired by Disney to translate all the films into Italian. In 1949 he founded the production house Filmeco and in 1951 he created his own dubbing company Royfilm. Roberto passed away September 21, 1984 in Rome.
Cyril Edgar-(Film,awarded posthumously) Cyril Edgar was born May 4, 1907 in London. In 1950 Cyril took a job as Disney’s liaison with RKO, their distributor at the time. In 1956 he was named joint managing director of Walt Disney Productions with Legend Cyril James and they were known as “the two Cyrils.” Cyril James was in charge of finance and Cyril Edgar was in charge of selling films and TV shows. In 1971 Cyril was named European supervisor in charge of sales and was transferred to Paris. In 1971 he retired after more then 20 years with the company. Cyril passed away February 5, 1987 in England.
Wally Feignoux-(Film,awarded posthumously) Raoul Wallace “Wally” Feignoux was born March 26, 1906 in Paris. In the 1930s he started working as a sales representative for Fox. In 1936 he joined the Disney company after meeting Walt and Roy O. Wally had a staff of ten people and was responsible for supervising RKO’s distribution of Disney films in Europe. During World War II Nazi troops had control of the building the office was in, he kept in the office and protected all of the Disney films from being taken by Germany. After the war he secured a theater for Fantasia which premiered in Paris on November 6, 1946. Wally later oversaw the translation of all Disney films into French and in 1963 he helped establish an independent distribution in France. After 35 years of service Wally retired in 1971. Wally passed away May 30, 1981 in France.
Didier Fouret-(Publishing, awarded posthumously) Didier Fouret was born June 25, 1927 in Paris. He served in the French Liberated Army during World War II. After the war he went to work his with grandfather at Hachette Publishing in Paris. By the age of 30 he was the director of the company. Didier helped bring Disney books to France and he helped republish a weekly Disney magazine. When EPCOT was being created he took an interest in the French Pavilion and it’s need for a good restaurant. Didier helped recruit chefs Paul Bocuse, Gaston LeNotre, and Roger Verge to be his partners at Les Chefs de France. Didier passed away July 5, 1989 in Paris.
Mario Gentilini-(Publishing, awarded posthumously) Mario Gentilini was born July 8, 1909 in Italy. Mario studied art and was teaching high school in 1936 when he was offered a fill in position at Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. While working at the publishing firm he learned of Topolino which the company just acquired the rights to publish. He was taken by Mickey Mouse and quit teaching to work for Topolino and nine years later he was promoted to editor. Originally only Disney stories from the US were translated for the magazine. Mario pushed to have original Italian work and art included in the magazine. He also worked on I Classici di Walt Disney, a monthy magazine that featured the best stories from Topolino. After 35 years he retired and Gaudenzio Capelli took over for him. Mario passed away February 1988 in Italy.
Cyril James-(Film & Merchandise, awarded posthumously) Cyril James was born September 1, 1910 in South Wales. He trained as an accountant and joined Walt Disney Productions as company secretary in 1938. In 1942 he left to join the war effort and then rejoined the company after the war and acted as liaison between them and RKO. In 1956 he became joined managing director or Walt Disney Productions with Legend Cyril Edgar and were known as “the two Cyrils.” Three years later Cyril became sole managing director for England and Europe. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1972 after 35 years with the company. Cyril passed away August 25, 1975 in London.
Gorst Koblischek-(Character Merchandise) Gorst Koblischek was born July 8, 1926 in Czechoslovakia. In 1943 he entered training school for the German Army but by the time he finished World War II was over. In 1950 he found a job at a Berlin advertising agency. In 1958 he moved to Frankfurt to join Disney’s German office as director of sales and was promoted to managing director in 1961. In the 60s he introduced the Disney Comic Pocket Book and is still the most successful publishing concept in Germany. He also founded the company’s German record business in 1965 and in 1975 he negotiated Disney’s first TV contract in Germany featuring a weekly Mickey Mouse cartoon. In 1988 as part of Mickey’s 60th birthday he helped organize the first Disney Film Festival in the Soviet Union (Russia). The 3 city tour stopped in Moscow, Leningrad (St. Petersburg), and Estonia. When the Cold War ended in 1992 he re-introduced Disney characters to other Eastern European countries. Horst officially retired in 1990 but served as a consultant until 1993. He passed away November 11, 2002.
Gunnar Mansson-(Character Merchandise) Gunnar Mansson was born July 17, 1927 in Sweden. In 1947 he fulfilled his compulsory national service by enlisting in the Swedish Air Force. In 1953 he started working for Kellogg’s in Copenhagen. He met with Disney representatives since it is one of Disney’s character licensees. In 1963 he was offered a position as a manager of Disney’s Stockholm office and was promoted to managing director when it moved to Copenhagen in 1964. Gunnar helped oversee a Donald Duck magazine which was published starting in the late 1960s. After more then 25 years with the company he retired in 1989.
Arnoldo Mondadori-(Publishing, awarded posthumously) Arnoldo Mondadori was born November 2, 1889 in a village in Italy. At a young he started working in a typography shop and by 15 he was printing his own newspaper. In 1935 he first saw the Disney magazine Topolino. He fell in love with the magazie and arranged a personal introduction to Walt and Roy O Disney and convinced them to make him the publisher. He gained the rights and changed its format to pocket size so it was easier to carry. Since Topolino was so successful he published a Donald Duck magazine and Disney comic books. Arnoldo loved his work and never retired. He passed away July 1, 1972 in Milan.
Armand Palivoda-(Film,awarded posthumously) Armand Palivoda was born in 1906 in Switzerland. He left school at 14 to work in a factory and by 20 he was a traveling salesman for the film industry. In 1937 he joined RKO as manager of their Swiss office. In 1958 Walt wanted to produce the live action Third Man on the Mountain in Zermatt and Armand helped set up Swiss contracts. Armand bought the Swiss part of RKO and renamed it Parkfilm. He continued to work with Disney. Armand passed away November 11, 1960 in Geneva.
Poul Brahe Pedersen- (Publishing, awarded posthumously) Poul Brahe Pedersen was born October 24, 1910 in Germany. He studied law and graduated in 1937. He began working as a legal advisor to the editor of a newspaper in Denmark. In 1942 he moved towards publishing when he was transferred to the staff of the morning edition. He remained an editor until 1954 when he joined Disney licensee Gutenberghus Publishing in Copenhagen. He first changed a monthly magazine into a weekly publication. After 21 years with Gutenberghus Poul retired in 1975. He passed away February 13, 1978 in Copenhagen.
Andre Vanneste- (Character Merchandise, awarded posthumously) Andre Vanneste was born May 12, 1927 in Belgium. During World War II he volunteered with the Belgian Red Cross. In 1945 he was presented with a Red Cross Award for his bravery. In 1948 he started working for Universal Pictures in Brussels where he met Armand Bigle and later joined him at Screpta. In 1973 Disney bought the company and Andre became an official Disney employee. Andre retired in 1993 and passed away May 2, 1995 in Brussels.
Paul Winkler-(Character Merchandise, awarded posthumously) Paul Winkler was born July 7, 1898 in Hungary. In the 1920s he moved to Paris and founded a press agency that sold articles to newspapers throughout Western Europe. In 1930 Mickey Mouse made his comic strip debut. in 1934 Paul created the first French Mickey Mouse comic magazine Le Journal de Mickey. In 1940 when Germany invaded Paris Paul and his family emigrated to the US. After the war Paul returned to France. He published Hardi, Presente Donald in 1947. Paul passed away September 23, 1983 in France.
class of 1998
James Algar- (Animation, Film) James Algar was born June 11, 1912 in Modesto, California. He worked for Disney for 43 years. The first movie he worked on was Fantasia as the director. He worked on nineteen more movies as a director and sometimes as a writer. The last movie he worked on was The Best of Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventures in 1975. James passed away February 26, 1998 in California.
Buddy Baker- (Music) Norman “Buddy” Baker was born January 4, 1918 in Springfield, Missouri. His first hit as a big band arranger was “And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine.” In the early 1950s he became a professor at LA City College. His friend George Bruns asked him to compose music for Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. Buddy eventually became Disney Studios music director and chief composer for the Disney theme parks. The last movie he worked on was The Fox and the Hound. Buddy passed away from natural causes July 26, 2002 in California.
Kathryn Beaumont- (Animation-Voice) Kathryn Beaumont was born June 27, 1938 in London. The first Disney movie she was featured in was On an Island with You where Walt personally cast her for a small role. Kathryn is most famous for being the voice of Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan. Later on Kathryn voiced Wendy and Alice in Disney’s House of Mouse and the video game Kingdom Hearts. In 2005 Kathryn retired from both voice roles.
Roy E. Disney- (Film, Animation, Administration) Roy Edward Disney was born January 10, 1930 in Los Angeles. Roy’s father was Roy O. Disney and was one of the founders of The Walt Disney Company. Roy E. first began working for the company as an assistant director and producer for True-Life Adventure. In 1967 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the company. in 1977 Roy E resigned as an executive but remained on the board till 1984 when he resigned from there as well. During this time Ron Miller (husband of Walt’s daughter Diane) was replaced by Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. Roy E. was behind bringing the two men in to stop the company from being taken over. Roy E. returned to the company as vice-chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the animation department. Michael Eisner and Roy E.’s relationship started to strain when Michael placed people he as friendly with in high positions. In 2004 Roy E. started savedisney.com to oust Michael from his position. Michael eventually stepped down, this power struggle was put into a book DisneyWar by James B. Stewart. Roy E. passed away from a year long battle with stomach cancer on December 16, 2009.
Don Escen- (Administration) Don Escen was born on July 13, 1919 in Minnesota. He served in the United States Army during World War II and was part of the invasion of Normandy. After the war he moved to California and started working for Disney Studios in 1949 in the accounting department. By 1953 he was accounting office manager and in 1960 he was assistant treasure and controller. After Walt’s death Don was made offers from several companies but remained with Disney since he was one of Roy’s go to people. In 1968 the company started to issue convertible bonds to help them through a difficult time and allowed Disney World to be built. In 1975 he was given the titles of financial administrator and treasure of Buena Vista International. After 35 years Don retired in 1984. Don passed away February 6, 2006.
Wilfred Jackson-(Animation-awarded posthumously) Wilfred Jackson was born January 24, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois. He worked as an animator, arranger, composer, and director for Disney Studios. His best known work was with Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies. He also worked on two segments in Fantasia: Night on Bald Mountain and Ave Maria. Wilfred passed away at age 82 on August 7, 1988 in California.
Glynis Johns- (Film) Glynis Johns was born October 5, 1923 in South Africa. Her parents were both performers, her mother a pianist and father was an actor. Glynis is best known as Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music on Broadway for which she won a Tony Award. Another role she is famous for is Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins. In both of her famous roles she sang the songs needed for her part. Her last film appearance was in 1999 Superstar where she played Molly Shannon’s grandmother.
Kay Kamen-(Character Merchandise-awarded posthumously) Herman “Kay” Kamen was born January 27, 1892 in Baltimore, Maryland. He started his career as a hat merchant. In 1932 he called Walt Disney. Kay wanted to better advertise and sell Mickey Mouse. Two days later after a train ride he met Walt and Roy O. in Los Angeles. He was given a contract as the company’s sole license representative. Within a few short years Mickey Mouse was in the majority of all department stores. Kay died in a plane crash near Spain October 28, 1949.
Paul Kenworthy-(Film) Norman Paul Kenworthy Jr. was born February 14, 1925 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a director and cinematographer for Disney Studios. Paul worked on the True-Life movies in the 1950s and the Best of in 1975. He was the co-inventor of the Snorkel Camera System, a remote-controlled periscope camera. In 1978 he shared a non-competitive Academy Award with William Latady. Paul passed away October 15, 2010 in California.
Larry Lansburgh-(Film & TV) Larry Lansburgh was born May 18, 1911 in San Francisco, California. He broke into movies working as a stunt man in fils such as The Woman in Red. After breaking his leg falling off a horse Larry gave up stunt work and joined Disney Studios as a traffic boy in 1938. Larry later moved into editing and in 1940 he was part of the group that visited South America with Walt. In 1971 after more then 30 years at the studios he retired. Larry passed away March 25, 2001 in Burbank, California.
Hayley Mills- (Film) Hayley Mills was born April 18, 1946 in London to Sir John Mills who was a famous actor and Mary Hayley Bell. She was discovered at age 12 by J. Lee Thompson who was looking for a young boy for Tiger Bay a movie her father was co-starring in. Bill Anderson, a Disney producer, saw her performance and suggested her for Pollyanna. Next she starred in the Parent Trap as twins Sharon and Susan. Over the next four years she starred in: In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic, The Moon-Spinners, and That Darn Cat! After her contract with Disney was up she continued to act in movies in the late 60s and 70s. In the 80s Hayley appeared on TV. She has also worked on various stage plays in the UK, USA, and Australia. Hayley currently lives in New York.
Al Milotte and Elma Milotte-(Film-awarded posthumously) Al Milotte was born in 1905 in Appleton, Wisconsin. Elma was born in 1907 in Seattle, Washington. The couple met in Seattle and moved to Alaska where they were married and owned a photography studio. Al and Elma’s first movie for Disney was Seal Island. They continued to travel the world for True Live Adventures that were filmed between 1948 and 1960. In 1959 the pair retired to Washington where they wrote books. Elma passed away April 19, 1989 and Al passed April 24, 1989.
Norman “Stormy” Palmer-(Film) Norman “Stormy” Palmer was born October 7, 1918 in Santa Ana, California. After high school he applied to Walt Disney Studios. He started working as a projectionist in 1938 but transferred to the editorial department. During World War II he worked for the Field Photographic Branch of the Office of Strategic Services. After the war he returned to Disney and continued to edit films. He retired from Disney Studios in 1983 after 45 years. Stormy passed away March 23, 2013 in California.
Lloyd Richardson-(Film) Lloyd Richardson was born April 21, 1915 in Portland, Oregon. He began his career at Disney as a traffic boy in 1937 and then moved to the editorial department. For the next 40 years he worked as editor-at-large working with foreign editing, training films, animated features, live action/animated features, True Life Features, and TV shows. Lloyd retired in 1980 and passed away February 19, 2002.
Kurt Russell- (Film) Kurt Russell was born March 17, 1951 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He first started acting at age 11 and he acted in several TV shows until Disney put him under a 10 year contract. Kurt worked on a episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color the the Sherman Brothers film musical, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. He continued to work on TV and film. In 1981 he was the voice of Copper in The Fox and the Hound. Kurt is still an active actor.
Ben Sharpsteen-(Animation, Film-awarded posthumously) Benjamin Sharpsteen was born November 4, 1895 in Tacoma, Washington. He worked as a producer and director for Disney between 1940 and 1975. He has a museum on his honor located in Calistoga, California. Ben passed away December 20, 1980 in California.
Masatomo Takahashi-(Administration) Masatomo Takahashi was born September 4, 1913 in Japan. During World War II he served as an army interpreter. After the war he joined Kenzai Co., Ltd. as its executive managing director and later its present. In 1961 he joined the real estate development firm OLC as senior executive managing director. He became president in 1978 and during that time he approached Disney about building a theme park in Tokyo. Contracts were signed in 1979 between Disney and OLC. The park opened in 1983. In the late 1990s Masatomo wanted to expand the park and add Tokyo DisneySea. Masatomo passed away January 31, 2000 before the opening of the second park in 2001.
Vladimir “Bill” Tytla-(Animation-awarded posthumously) Vladimir “Bill” Tytla was born October 25, 1904 in Yonkers, New York. He was one of the original Disney animators and is considered by many to be the best. Bill worked on the movies up until the strike when things between him and Walt got tense. Bill’s workload was less challenging and he resigned from the studios in February 1943. After leaving Disney Bill worked at Terrytoons till 1950 then left there to work for Tempo Productions. Bill passed away December 30, 1968.
Dick Van Dyke-(Film) Richard “Dick” Van Dyke was born December 13, 1925 in West Plains, Missouri. Dick’s acting, dancing, comedy, writing, singing, and producing career has lasted almost 70 years. His younger brother Jerry is also an actor. During World War II Dick served in the Army Air Corps from 1944-1945. After the war he worked as a radio host. From there he was part of a comedy duo before moving on to Broadway. Dick won a Tony award for Best Actor for his work on Bye Bye Birdie. After doing a film version of Bye Bye Birdie Dick starred with Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins. His accent in Mary Poppins was listed as being one of the worst in screen history. After some box office trouble Dick found success on TV. In recent years Dick has had parts in the two Night at the Museum movies. Dick’s grandson Shane is a movie director.
Matsuo Yokoyama- (Character Merchandise) Matsuo Yokoyama was born March 31, 1927 in Toyko. In 1961 he started working for Disney looking for fraudulent Disney merchandise and he helped establish Disney’s copyrights in Japan. He later became president of Walt Disney Enterprises of Japan from 1989 to 1994. Matsuo retired in 1994 after 33 years of service.
CLASS OF 1999
Tim Allen- (TV, Film, Animation-Voice) Timothy Allen Dick was born June 13, 1953 in Denver, Colorado. Tim’s father died when he was 11 and his mother remarried and moved the family to Birmingham, Michigan to be with her new husband and his three children. In high school Tim took music and theater classes leading to his love of the piano. After college he started his career as a comedian. As his career took off he moved to Los Angeles. Tim’s big break came when he was cast in Home Improvement in 1991 and the show continued till 1999. In 1994 he was cast in The Santa Claus which was a huge hit. In 1995 Tim voiced Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. He continued to work with Disney and was a part of Jungle 2 Jungle in 1997. Tim came back to voice Buzz in Toy Story 2 in 1998 and the direct to DVD Buzz Light Year of Star Command in 2000. In 2002 he did another sequel The Santa Claus 2. In 2006 he completed The Santa Claus 3 and The Shaggy Dog. Tim returned to voice Buzz for Toy Story 3 in 2010. Since 2011 Tim has starred on the TV show Last Man Standing.
Mary Costa-(Animation-Voice) Mary Costa was born April 5, 1930 in Knoxville, Tennessee. After high school Mary studied music. In 1952 she auditioned for the role of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. Walt personally called her to offer her the role. After Sleeping Beauty Mary continued to work as an opera singer performing around the world.
Norm Ferguson-(Animation-awarded posthumously) William Norman “Norm” Ferguson was born September 2, 1902 in New York City. He worked as an animator at the Disney Studios. He was the artist to create Pluto, Peg-Leg Pete, and the Big Bad Wolf. Norm was the artist who primarily worked on the witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and also worked as a sequence director for that movie. Norm was famous for producing a large amount of work in a single day, most animators completed 10 pages and he would finish 18 pages. Norm suffered from diabetes later in life and died from complications November 4, 1957.
Bill Garity-(Film-awarded posthumously) William “Bill” Garity was born April 2, 1899 in New York City. He was an inventor and worked for Lee DeForest on the Phonofilm system until 1927. Pat Powers then hired him to create Powers Cinephone. Bill worked for Disney Studios in the late 1920s and early 1930s. In 1937 Bill and Ub Iwerks created the multilane camera. In 1940 he created Fantasound which was used for Fantasia. After leaving Disney Bill became vice president for Walter Lantz Productions. Bill passed away September 16, 1971 in Los Angeles.
Yale Gracey-(Animation, Imagineering-awarded posthumously) Yale Gracey was born September 3, 1920 in Shanghai. He worked as an animator for Disney starting in 1939 and later an Imagineer. Yale worked on: The Three Caballeros, Fantasia, and Pinocchio. He created many of the special effects for Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. Yale retired in 1975. He was shot and killed by a burglar on September 5, 1983.
Al Konetzni-(Character Merchandise) Al Konetzni was born May 19, 1915 in New York City. He showed an interest in art at an early age. After working for Pal Personna Blade for 16 years he started working at Disney as a marketing account executive. He coordinated licenses with GE, Hallmark, Hasbro and Bradley Time. Al retired in 1981 but worked a merchandise consultant for Ringling Brothers for 2 years.
Hamilton Luske-(Animation-awarded posthumously) Hamilton Luske was born October 16, 1903 in Chicago. He was hired at Disney Studios in 1931 and worked on various movies. He was supervising animator of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Hamilton continued to work on movies until his death in 1968. The last completed movie he worked on was Mary Poppins which he won an Academy Award for Best Special Visual Effects in 1965. Hamilton passed away February 19, 1968 in California
Dick Nunis-(Attractions) Dick Nunis was born May 30, 1932 in Cedartown, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Southern California where he attended with Ron Miller, Walt’s son-in-law. Ron told Dick about Disneyland he he applied and was given a job. Dick worked with Van France who was training new employees. He worked his way up and was director of park operations when they started working on Disney World in 1961. Dick was later chairman of the Park Operations Committee, vice president of operations, executive vice president of Disneyland and Disney World, president of outdoor recreation division, and chairman of Walt Disney Attractions. After 44 years with the company he retired May 26, 1999.
Charlie Ridgway-(Attractions) Charlie Ridgway was born July 20, 1923 in Chicago. Shortly after his high school graduation he joined the United States Army during World War II. After the war he attended college and worked for several radio stations and later newspapers. While Disneyland was under construction he was one of the first news reporters to write about the park and he covered the grand opening in 1955. In 1963 he joined the Disney Park’s publicity staff. Charlie was promoted to publicity supervisor in 1966. He later moves up to publicity manager, and director of press and publicity for Disney World. He helped launch the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disneyland Paris. Charlie retired in 1994 after 30 years with the company. He continues to consult on special projects such as Animal Kingdom in Florida and Disney Cruise Line. Charlie published a memoir “Spinning Disney World” in 2007.