D23 Celebrates 30 Years of Disney Legends


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This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Disney Legends award, created to honor those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy. To mark the occasion, D23 has created a unique stand-alone issue featuring all 267 current honorees, as well as the 10 new Legends who were inducted this morning at the D23 Expo. Since 1987, the award has been given to individuals who have worked with and for Disney in front of the camera and behind the scenes, from the shining stars of the silver and small screen to the creative minds behind its films, attractions, music, and entertainment.

Carrie Fisher: Disney films included Scream 3 and Jay and Silent Bob Strike back, but, of course, her most notable role was as Princess Leia throughout the Star Wars franchise.

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Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi: Worked as an animator on Mickey MouseSilly Symphony, and Pluto cartoons. Sequence Director on Victory Through Air Power, contributed to The Three CaballerosThe Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, CinderellaPeter Pan, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Supervising Director for Sleeping Beauty. Clyde’s kids accepted his award.

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Manuel Gonzales: Artist for the Mickey Mouse Sunday paper comic strip for nearly 40 years.



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Mark Hamill: Recognized for his roles on ABC’s General Hospital, Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland and Milo Murphy’s Law, but most notably as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise.

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Wayne Jackson: A technician and machinist who started at Disney rebuilding attractions from the 1964-65 World’s Fair for Disneyland. Helped develop Audio-Animatronics® technology, as well as helping bring “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Haunted Mansion” to Disneyland.

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Stan Lee: Co-created numerous successful Marvel characters: the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Falcon. Has appeared in nearly every Marvel film project.

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Gary Marshall:
A writer/producer/director with numerous credits to his name: The Dick Van Dyke ShowThe Lucy ShowThe Odd CoupleHappy DaysLaverne and ShirleyMork and MindyJoanie Loves ChachiPretty WomanThe Princess DiariesBeaches, and many others. Gary Marshall’s children accepted his award.

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Julie Taymor: A Grammy, Emmy, and Tony award-winning filmmaker, with successful Broadway credits such as her adaptation of The Lion King which has earned 11 Tony nominations and earned her Best Director, Best Costume Designer, and Best Musical for the show. Her film resume is also impressive: A Midsummer’s Night DreamTitusThe Tempest, the Golden Globe-nominated Across the Universe, and the Oscar-winning Frida.

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Oprah Winfrey: An award-winning producer, actress, talk show host, and philanthropist best known for The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 seasons. Her acting/producing credits include: The Color PurpleBelovedThe Women of Brewster PlaceTuesdays with MorrieBefore Women Had WingsTheir Eyes Were Watching God,The Princess and the Frog, and Disney’s upcoming A Wrinkle in Time.

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Jack Kirby: Creator and co-creator of some of the most iconic comic book characters of all time. Kirby’s career drawing comics started in the 1930’s. By the 1960s, Kirby was working with Stan Lee to create some of the most popular characters of today. Jack Kirby’s son accepts his award.

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Whoopi Goldberg: The big surprise of the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony – Whoopi Goldberg has just been honored as a Disney Legend! Whoopi Goldberg is one of a very elite group of artists who is an EGOT, which is an acronym for a person who’s won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. She has won Emmys (as host of AMC’s Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel, and a Daytime Emmy for The View), a Grammy (Whoopi Goldberg), an Oscar (Ghost) and a Tony (Producer of Thoroughly Modern Millie). Today at D23 EXPO: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, she can add Disney Legend to this impressive list, making her the one and only LEGOT recipient! What an honor!



*The information contained in this article represents the opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of the DIS.

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