Roy E Disney Dies at 79
Roy E. Disney died today, at the age of 79.
The following is a story published in the LA Times on December 16, 2009:
Roy Edward Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney whose commitment to his uncle’s creative spirit prompted him to mount revolts that led to the unseating of two of the company’s chief executives and a revival of the studio’s legendary animation unit, died Wednesday. He was 79.
Disney, who had been battling stomach cancer, died at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, according to Clifford A. Miller, a spokesman for Disney’s company Shamrock Holdings.
Disney toiled for years in the shadow of his famous uncle and his father, Disney Studios co-founder Roy O. Disney, who ran the business side of the company for his brother. But the quiet scion would emerge as a forceful protector of Disney traditions when he believed that the company that bore the family name was headed in the wrong direction.
“People always underestimated Roy,” Peter Schneider, the former president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, said recently. “You underestimate Roy at your peril, as many people have learned.”
As chairman of Disney animation, Disney helped guide the studio to a new golden age of animation with an unprecedented string of artistic and box-office successes that included “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.” He was executive producer of “Fantasia/2000,” the sequel to the 1940 Disney classic, and the 2004 Oscar-nominated “Destino,” based on a 1945 collaboration between Walt Disney and Spanish painter Salvador Dali.
“I really credit Roy Disney completely with the renaissance of Disney animation, beginning with ‘Little Mermaid’ and all the way through that great amazing series of classic Disney films,” said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.
Read the rest of the story here.