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Disney Legends
Established in 1987, the Disney Legends program recognizes people who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution to The Walt Disney Company. The honor is awarded annually during a special ceremony.

Recipients are chosen by a selection committee, formerly appointed and chaired by the late Disney Legend Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney's nephew, former vice chairman and director emeritus of The Walt Disney Company. The committee consists of long-time Disney executives, historians and other authorities. Roy Disney died on December 16, 2009. Disney's corporate headquarters in Burbank, California features a plaza honoring the recipients outside Team Disney - The Michael D. Eisner Building. Each honoree is represented by a bronze plaque; the plaque features the recipient's handprints and signature if they were living when named a Disney Legend.

Artist Andrea Favilli created the Disney Legends award, which is handcrafted from bronze each year. The award depicts the arm of Mickey Mouse holding a star-tipped wand.

Disney describes the award as follows:

The Disney Legends award has three distinct elements that characterize the contributions made by each talented recipient.

  1. The Spiral ... stands for imagination, the power of an idea.
  2. The Hand ... holds the gifts of skill, discipline, and craftsmanship.
  3. The Wand and the Star ... represent magic: the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.

When Disney opened its hall of fame, all of the then-major Hollywood studios considered opening their own halls of fame, but (as of 2008) Disney remains the only major Hollywood studio to have one.

Recipients

1987

1988

1989

All except Iwerks were Disney's "Nine Old Men."

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

  • Bob Allen, Attractions
  • Rex Allen, Film & Television
  • X Atencio, Animation & Imagineering
  • Betty Lou Gerson, Animation—Voice
  • Bill Justice, Animation & Imagineering
  • Bob Matheison, Attractions
  • Sam McKim, Imagineering
  • Bob Moore, Animation & Film
  • Bill Peet, Animation—Story
  • Joe Potter, Attractions

1997

  • Lucien Adés, Music
  • Angel Angelopoulos, Publishing
  • Antonio Bertini, Character Merchandise
  • Armand Bigle, Character Merchandise
  • Gaudenzio Capelli, Publishing
  • Roberto de Leonardis, Film
  • Cyril Edgar, Film
  • Wally Feignoux, Film
  • Didier Fouret, Publishing
  • Mario Gentilini, Publishing
  • Cyril James, Film & Merchandise
  • Horst Koblischek, Character Merchandise
  • Gunnar Mansson, Character Merchandise
  • Arnoldo Mondadori, Publishing
  • Armand Palivoda, Film
  • Poul Brahe Pederson, Publishing
  • André Vanneste, Character Merchandise
  • Paul Winkler, Character Merchandise

1998

1999

2000

  • Barkad Hashi, Animation
  • Harriet Burns, Imagineering
  • Joyce Carlson, Animation & Imagineering
  • Ron Dominguez, Parks & Resorts
  • Cliff Edwards, Animation—Voice
  • Becky Fallberg, Animation
  • Dickie Jones, Animation—Voice
  • Dodie Roberts, Animation
  • Retta Scott, Animation
  • Ruthie Tompson, Animation

2001

2002

In honor of the opening of the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, all 2002 inductees are of European origin. The ceremony was held in the Animation building at the new park on opening day.

2003

Following a dispute between Roy E. Disney and the company that resulted in Disney departing, Robert Iger, the company's then-president and COO co-presented with Michael Eisner.

  • Neil Beckett, Merchandise
  • Tutti Camarata, Music
  • Edna Francis Disney
  • Lillian Disney
  • Orlando Ferrante, Imagineering
  • Richard Fleischer, Film
  • Floyd Gottfredson, Animation
  • Buddy Hackett, Film & Television
  • Harrison "Buzz" Price, Research Economist. Located sites for Disneyland and Disney World.
  • Al Taliaferro, Cartoonist
  • Ilene Woods, Music—Voice

2004

2005

In honor of Disneyland's 50th anniversary in 2005, all recipients are related to either Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and/or Walt Disney Imagineering, and nearly all have had some connection with Disneyland. Roy E. Disney again co-presented the awards, after a two-year hiatus and a return to the company.

  • Chuck Abbott, Parks & Resorts
  • Milt Albright, Parks & Resorts
  • Hideo Amemiya, Parks & Resorts
  • Hideo Aramaki, Parks & Resorts
  • Charles Boyer, Parks & Resorts
  • Randy Bright, Imagineer
  • James Cora, Parks & Resorts
  • Robert Jani, Parks & Resorts
  • Mary Jones, Parks & Resorts
  • Art Linkletter, Parks & Resorts
  • Mary Anne Mang, Parks & Resorts
  • Steve Martin, Parks & Resorts
  • Tom Nabbe, Parks & Resorts
  • Jack Olsen, Parks & Resorts
  • Cicely Rigdon, Parks & Resorts
  • William Sullivan, Parks & Resorts
  • Jack Wagner, Parks & Resorts
  • Vesey Walker, Parks & Resorts

2006

  • Tim Considine, Television & Film
  • Kevin Corcoran, Television & Film
  • Al Dempster, Animation
  • Don Edgren, Imagineering
  • Paul Frees, Television, Film & Parks
  • Peter Jennings, Television
  • Sir Elton John, Music
  • Jimmy Johnson, Music
  • Tommy Kirk, Television & Film
  • Joe Ranft, Animation
  • David Stollery, Television & Film
  • Ginny Tyler, Television & Film

2007

2008

  • Wayne Allwine, Animation (voice)
  • Bob Booth, Attractions
  • Neal Gallagher, Attractions
  • Frank Gifford, Television
  • Burny Mattinson, Animation
  • Walter Peregoy, Animation
  • Dorothea Redmond, Designer
  • Russi Taylor, Animation (voice)
  • Barbara Walters, Television
  • Oliver Wallace, Music

2009

2011

Disney legends jim henson plaque

2013

2015

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