Disney Personalities - Page 2
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  1. #16
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Dean Jones (Film)
    Inducted 1995

    When Dean Jones began his motion picture career in 1956, he was just biding his time until he got his real break. The former crooner-turned-actor once recalled, "I wish I could say I had this master plan for a career, but I always thought acting was something I'd just do until I had a hit record."

    While Dean's hit record proved elusive, he scored a number of hit movies while under contract with The Walt Disney Studios. By 1975, "Variety" named six of his Disney features all-time box-office champions, including "The Love Bug," "That Darn Cat," "Snowball Express," "The Ugly Dachshund," "The $1,000,000 Duck," and "Blackbeard's Ghost."

    Dean's clean-cut appeal and good-natured hijinks made his name synonymous with Disney motion pictures. As former president of Walt Disney Pictures David Vogel once said, "When you think of Disney, you think of Dean Jones."

    Born in Decatur, Alabama, Dean liked to fish in the nearby Tennessee River and sing, accompanied on the guitar by his father, a railroad worker. At 15, he left home to pursue a singing career, picking up odd jobs as a coal loader, cotton picker and dishwasher. He began singing in a New Orleans club that paid three dollars a night, plus dinner. After four months, however, the club folded and Dean beat a path back to Decatur to complete his high school education.
    A year of voice study at Kentucky's Asbury College was followed by a four-year hitch with the Navy, which took Dean to San Diego, California. Whenever he had a day off, Dean headed to Hollywood to audition for orchestras, eventually winning a screen test and contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Instead of singing for the cameras, however, he starred in mostly straight, dramatic roles.

    Among his early films were Vincent Minnelli's "Tea and Sympathy," "Torpedo Run," with Glenn Ford and "Jailhouse Rock," with Elvis Presley.

    In 1960, Dean found fame in Broadway's "Under the Yum Yum Tree," followed by Steven Sondheim's "Company" in 1970. While starring in television's "Ensign O'Toole," he was tapped by Walt Disney to become the Studio's leading man, appearing in such films as "Monkeys, Go Home!" "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit," "The Shaggy D.A." and "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo."

    Over the years, Dean has appeared in a number of Disney television specials including "Disney's Greatest Dog Stars" in 1976. He starred in the first of a number of Disney remakes - "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" - in 1995, followed by "That Darn Cat" and the ABC television movie "The Love Bug."
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  2. #17
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Kurt Russell (Film)
    Inducted 1998


    Actor Kurt Russell, known for his buff roles in such action-adventure flicks as "Escape from L.A.," "Executive Decision" and "Stargate," is among Hollywood's top leading men. To those who grew up with Kurt, however, he's still remembered as the all-American "apple pie and ice cream" kid, who starred as Dexter Reilly in the beloved Disney films "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes," "Now You See Him, Now You Don't" and "The Strongest Man in the World." Over the years, Kurt has never lost his boyish charm, nor forgotten his Disney roots.

    "The Disney years were my education in the film business," he recalled. "I was fortunate to be able to work there consistently."

    Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, March 17, 1951, Kurt was raised in Los Angeles. His father, Bing Russell, starred as Deputy Clem on the Bonanza television series (1961-73). Kurt loved baseball and at the age of nine, decided to go into acting when he heard that his sports heroes Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were planning a movie, "Safe at Home!" He didn't get the part he auditioned for, but did win a role in an Elvis Presley movie, "It Happened at the World's Fair," which led to television's "Travels with Jamie McPheeters" and ultimately, to Disney Studios.

    At 15, Kurt was cast in his first Disney picture "Follow Me, Boys!," starring fellow Legend Fred MacMurray. Walt Disney took an instant liking to Kurt and signed him to an exclusive Studio contract, making him the Studio's teen star of the 1960s and 70s. Kurt made 12 Disney features, in all, including "The Barefoot Executive," "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit," "Charley and the Angel" and "Superdad." In the 1968 Disney musical "The One and Only, Genuine Original Family Band," Kurt met a young dancer named Goldie Hawn, who later became his real-life leading lady.

    In 1970, he narrated the animated short, "Dad, Can I Borrow the Car?" and later voiced Copper, the young hunting dog, in the animated feature "The Fox and the Hound." Kurt also appeared in Disney television shows, including "Willie and the Yank" and "The Secret of Boyne Castle."

    Unlike many child stars, Kurt made a successful transition into adult roles. In 1979, his career came full circle, when he earned an Emmy nomination for his role as Elvis Presley in the John Carpenter telefilm "Elvis." Other credits include, "Silkwood," "Big Trouble in Little China," "Backdraft" and "Soldier," among others. In 1992, Kurt returned to Disney Studios to star in Touchstone's "Captain Ron" and to later portray Wyatt Earp in Hollywood Pictures' "Tombstone."

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  3. #18
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    David Tomlinson (Film)
    Inducted 2002



    Noel Coward once described actor David Tomlinson as looking like a "very old baby." While David himself said, "I may look like a disappointed spaniel, but by nature I am cheerful."

    And "cheer" is what David spread to many a Disney audience with his performances in such Disney movies as the Oscar©-winning Mary Poppins in 1964, "The Love Bug" in 1969 and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" in 1971.

    Of the more than 50 motion pictures he appeared in during his career, however, his most popular role was as the rigid and positively clueless father George Banks in "Mary Poppins." As Ed Weiner wrote in "TV Guide;" "Of all the movie moments we hold dear from childhood and revisit most often with our children on video, Tomlinson as a changed and suddenly life-loving George Banks happily singing 'Let's Go Fly a Kite' is one of the sweetest."

    Born David Cecil MacAlister Tomlinson on May 7, 1917, in Henley-on-Thames, England, he left school to serve with the Grenadier Guards beginning in 1935. A year later, he took a job as a clerk in London and dabbled in amateur theater at night. While playing the bridegroom in a 1939 tour of "Quiet Wedding," David was spotted by director Anthony Asquith and subsequently, named best man of the 1940 film opposite Margaret Lockwood.

    Soon after, he put his fledgling motion picture career on hold during World War II to serve as a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. After the War, he resumed acting with such films as "The Little Hut" with David Niven, "Three Men in a Boat" directed by fellow Legend Ken Annakin and "Up the Creek" with Peter Sellers, among others.

    David bent toward the humorous, once said, "Personally, I wouldn't want to go near Hamlet. Far too serious."
    He was cast in "Mary Poppins" after Walt Disney saw his stage performance in "Ring of Truth" at the Savoy Theatre. The role won him a Hollywood film editors' award for "best performance by an actor making his debut in American motion pictures."

    David went on to play the evil Thorndyke in "The Love Bug," which was an about-face for the actor, who usually played respectable, good-natured types. Later he served as the humbug professor of magical arts, Emelius Brown, in "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" with Angela Lansbury.

    David Tomlinson died June 24, 2000, in London, at the age of 83.
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  4. #19
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Paul Frees (Television, Film & Parks)
    Inducted 2006


    During his lengthy career, "the voice of actor Paul Frees was not so much ubiquitous as inescapable," says film historian Hal Erickson. "It was literally impossible during the 1960s and most of the 1970s to turn on the TV on any given night and not hear the ineluctable Mr. Frees."

    Born Solomon Hersh Frees in Chicago, he began his acting career in 1942, and remained active for over forty years. During this time, he was involved in more than 250 films, cartoons, and TV appearances; like many voice actors, his appearances were often uncredited.

    Gifted with an amazing ear and versatile voice from an early age, Frees' early radio career was cut short when he was drafted during World War II. He was wounded in action at Normandy on D-Day and returned to the U.S. for a year of recuperation. He attended the Chouinard Art Institute under the G.I. Bill, but his first wife's failing health forced him to drop out and return to radio work.

    He was the star of The Player, a syndicated anthology series in which he played all the roles. He appeared frequently on such Hollywood radio series as Escape, Suspense, Gunsmoke, Crime Classics and The Green Lama.
    Frees began working in films in 1948, sometimes as an on-screen actor, but most often utilizing his chameleonic voice acting ability. When Chill Wills was unavailable to provide the talking mule's voice for Francis in the Haunted House (1956), Frees replaced him, recreating Wills's drawl; when Tony Curtis's "Josephine" in Some Like It Hot required a more melodious falsetto, Frees was able to supply it.

    Frees was often called upon in the 1950s and 1960s to "loop" the dialogue of other actors, often to correct for foreign accents, lack of English proficiency, or poor line readings by non-professionals. These dubs extended from a few lines to entire roles. Whenever Japanese film star Toshiro Mifune appeared in an English-language film like Grand Prix (1966) or Midway (1976), he would insist that his heavily-accented voice be "looped" by Frees-Mifune claimed that Frees "sounds more like me than I do."

    He was a regular presence in Jay Ward cartoons, providing the voices of Boris Badenov, and Inspector Fenwick (in Dudley Do-Right), among many others. He spent major parts of his career working with at least nine of the major animation production companies of the 20th century: The Walt Disney Studios, Walter Lantz Studio, UPA, Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, MGM, DePatie-Freleng, Jay Ward, and Rankin-Bass Productions.

    Frees began working for Disney dubbing voices for television and features, including narration for the "Man in Space" series (1954), "From Aesop to Hans Christian Andersen" (1955), the "Boys of the Western Sea" serial (1956-57), "The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca" (1958), Tonka (1958), "Tales of Texas John Slaughter" (1958), The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), "Moochie of Pop Warner Football" (1960), The Ballad of Hector, the Stowaway Dog (1964), and The Monkey's Uncle (1965). For The Ugly Dachshund (1966) he looped the voice of "Eddie" entirely, since actor Richard Wessel had passed away after the completion of principal photography.

    Most famously, Frees comic Germanic accent and free-wheeling improvisational ability brought personality and popularity to Donald Duck's nutty Uncle, Professor Ludwig Von Drake, who was introduced on "An Adventure in Color" (1961) and subsequently became a frequent host of the Sunday night television institution, as well as a star of Disneyland Records.

    For the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, Frees was the sonorous narrator of the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln pre-show at the Illinois Pavilion. For Disneyland, he provided the dramatic "you are there" narration for Adventure Thru Inner Space. Some of his most memorable voice performances are still playing today at Disney Parks: Frees is the "Ghost Host" in the Haunted Mansion, and many of the varied Pirates of the Caribbean.
    Frees was active until his death from heart failure on November 2, 1986, in Tiburon, California. He was 66 years old.
    When asked if he ever had reason to resent the relative anonymity of his art form, Frees replied, "Sometimes, yes. But it's nothing I can't overcome when I look at the bank balance."

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  5. #20
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Howard Ashman (Music)
    Inducted 2001



    Producer and lyricist Howard Ashman made a huge splash in the world of Disney animation in 1989 with "The Little Mermaid," which he co-produced with John Musker, while the song "Under the Sea," co-written with composer Alan Menken, won an Oscar® for Best Song. In the infectious Calypso-flavored piece, Sebastian the Crab advises Ariel the lovelorn mermaid to stay home, because the seaweed isn't necessarily greener "undah somebody else's lake."

    Howard's lyrics, as Menken recalled, "would wink at the adults and say something to the kids at exactly the same time."

    Whether Howard envisioned a hip genie in "Aladdin" performing Fats Waller banter with Cab Calloway flamboyance in the Oscar®-nominated song "Friend Like Me," or the anthropomorphic candlestick in "Beauty and the Beast" oozing with Maurice Chevalier charm while singing the lively Oscar®-nominated "Be Our Guest," he imbued Disney characters with his own sense of emotional realism.
    In fact, "Beauty and the Beast," which he executive produced, was the first animated movie ever nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Motion Picture, a category typically reserved for live-action films, while its title song won the songwriters yet another Oscar®. Subsequently, the motion picture was dedicated to Howard, "who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul" after his untimely death on March 14, 1991, prior to the film's release that year.

    Born in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 17, 1950, the successful lyricist, librettist, playwright, and director received his MFA from Indiana University. In 1974, he moved to New York and became an editor at Grosset & Dunlap, while writing plays including "Dreamstuff," a musical version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," which marked the beginning of his association with Off-Off-Broadway WPA Theatre in 1977.
    Two years later, Howard teamed with Menken for the first time creating a musical version of Kurt Vonnegut's "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater." They went on to write the musical version of Roger Corman's 1960 cult film "Little Shop of Horrors" and won critical raves and awards including the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical of 1982-83. The off-beat show was transformed into a motion picture by Frank Oz in 1986, subsequently winning the musical duo their first Academy Award® nominations.

    That same year, Howard penned the wistful ballad "Disneyland" for the Broadway production of "Smile," written with Marvin Hamlisch, depicting utopia as a Disney theme park, and soon after signed a contract with The Walt Disney Company to write lyrics and dialogue for its animated features.

    In 1994, "Beauty and the Beast" moved to the New York stage, and has since become Broadway's 10th longest-running musical. The production features "Human Again," a chorus number by Howard and Menken that was storyboarded for the animated motion picture, but never completed. The nearly 10-minute sequence, however, has been newly-animated and added to "Beauty and the Beast," which was re-released on IMAX screens across the nation on January 1, 2002.

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  6. #21
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Tim Conway (Film)
    Inducted 2004


    Over the years, Comedian Tim Conway has delighted Disney audiences with his antics in such memorable live-action motion pictures as "The Apple Dumpling Gang" (1975), "The Shaggy D.A." (1976), and "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again" (1979). Often paired with funny man Don Knotts, the duo inspired the kind of belly laughs reminiscent of Hollywood's legendary comedy teams, including Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

    As Tim once observed with typical befuddlement, "The casting is ingenious, like putting Stan Laurel and Stan Laurel in the same film."

    Born Tom Conway, on December 15, 1933, in Willoughby, Ohio, he grew up in the curiously-named community Chagrin Falls, which later inspired his unique comedy routines.
    After majoring in speech and radio at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving two years with the Eighth Army Assignment Team. Upon discharge, he took a job answering mail for a Cleveland radio deejay. His clever letter-writing skill motivated a transfer to the promotional department.

    He then went on to direct a local television show called "Ernie's Place" and often appeared as the paradoxical character Dag Hereford, a self-proclaimed authority on an array of subjects who, in actuality, revealed himself a blithering simpleton.

    Comedienne Rose Marie happened to catch the young comic's performance and recommended him to Steve Allen. And in 1956, tweaking the Hereford character for Allen's ABC variety series, audiences quickly took to television's newest prankster.

    As a full-fledged comic, his name had to change since a well-known British actor shared his identity. Allen advised "dot the O" and Tim Conway was born.

    In 1962, Tim was snagged to play Ensign Charles Parker on the popular wartime sitcom "McHale's Navy," which lasted six seasons and sailed Tim to television stardom. Other series included, "Rango," "The Tim Conway Show," and "The Tim Conway Comedy Hour".

    Probably best remembered as a regular on "The Carol Burnett Show," Tim received five Emmys during his 1970s tenure, often playing opposite comedian Harvey Korman, and always resulting in hilarious consequences.

    In 1973, Tim first shuffled onto the Disney lot to star in "The World's Greatest Athlete," followed by "The Apple Dumpling Gang" in which he and Knotts portrayed the bumbling Hash Knife Outfit, a pair of desperadoes destined to be caught. He went on to play opposite a football-kicking mule in Disney's "Gus" (1976) and later, a basketball-playing pooch in the Studio's "Air Bud: Golden Receiver" (1998).

    On the small screen, his Disney credits include "Walt Disney World Celebrity Circus" (1987), "Carol & Company" (1990), "The Proud Family" (2001), and more.
    Tim Conway continues to conjure up laughs on screen, television, and in video.

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  7. #22
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Peter Ellenshaw (Film)
    Inducted 1993


    Mary Poppins glides through the air holding an umbrella. Fifty chimney sweeps dance over the rooftops of London. Captain Nemo pilots his submarine, the Nautilus, 20,000 leagues under the sea. Such Disney moments and more were created by Peter Ellenshaw, special-effects artist, matte painter and production designer.

    A renowned sea and landscape artist, his paintings look real enough to step into and the story of how Peter first became interested in art is about as dramatic as his paintings. Born in London in 1913, Peter was raised in the town of Essex, which was in the path of the German zeppelins during World War I. As he once recalled, "My mother put us (Peter and his two sisters) under the kitchen table while the zeppelins were overhead and gave us pencils and paper to draw with" and an artist was born.

    Because of his father's death in World War I, Peter was forced to leave school at age 14 to help support his family. While working as a grease monkey in a garage, he pursued his artwork and soon met matte artist Walter Percy Day. Before long, Day offered the young artist a job in film and Peter went on to work on Alexander Korda's "Things to Come," Michael Powell's "Stairway to Heaven" and Mervyn LeRoy's "Quo Vadis," as well as "The Thief of Baghdad," "The Red Shoes," and "Spartacus."

    Peter first met Walt Disney in 1948, when Walt began production of his first all live-action motion picture "Treasure Island" in England. Intrigued by Peter's artistry, Walt personally chose him to recreate scenes of long-ago England on painted backgrounds for the film.

    Later, when planning Jules Verne's classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," Walt brought Peter to Hollywood to work on the film, which won an Oscar® for best special effects in 1955. Ten years later, Peter won his own Academy Award® for his work in "Mary Poppins." As a matte artist, he contributed to such films as "Pollyanna" and "Swiss Family Robinson" and he was also responsible for production design on "Johnny Tremain." In addition, Peter contributed to the special photographic effects of "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," served as production designer on "Island at the Top of the World" and as art director on "Bedknobs and Broomsticks." In all, Peter contributed to more than 30 Disney feature films.

    A collection of his breathtaking art was published in 1996, "The Garden Within: The Art of Peter Ellenshaw," which inspired the wildly-popular "Winnie the Pooh in the Garden" series of Disney collectibles and merchandise.
    Peter Ellenshaw passed away in Santa Barbara, California on February 12, 2007.
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  8. #23
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Matthew Garber (Film)
    Inducted 2004


    Actor Matthew Garber lives forever in Disney's classic live-action motion pictures "The Three Lives of Thomasina" (1963), "Mary Poppins" (1964), and "The Gnome-Mobile" (1967). Teamed with co-star, childhood friend, and fellow Disney Legend Karen Dotrice in all three features, Matthew won the hearts of Disney audiences with his fresh, uninhibited and infectious personality.

    Matthew's unusual lack of inhibition in front of the camera quickly inspired Disney's publicity department at the time to coin him "the youngest method actor in movies." In fact, his unique quality as a non-performer is precisely what won the seven-year-old his first Disney starring role as Geordie in "The Three Lives of Thomasina."

    Matthew's premier screen test for "The Gnome-Mobile" revealed the "aha" moment for Disney Casting, which subsequently cinched their choice in talent.
    An incident published in articles read, "He interrupted the scene by saying, 'Excuse me, I think one of my front teeth is falling out.' Trying to stifle a laugh, the director replied: 'Well, go ahead and pull it out.' ... Matthew did just that, while the camera continued to roll."

    Born in England on March 25, 1956, to parents who had both loved and performed on stage, Matthew attended St. Paul's Primary School and Highgate School, north of London. A Disney press release composed in 1967 painted a portrait of Matthew as a spirited and bright boy, who enjoyed pulling practical jokes on friends, competing in sports, and reading books rich with adventure, mythology and even poetry.

    As a friend of the Dotrice family, Karen's father, Shakespearian actor Roy Dotrice, called Matthew to the attention of Disney Casting, where his use of "artful dodges, like squinting, screwing up his nose, and brushing his hair back with one hand" opened the gate to the Studio lot.
    Karen recalled working with Michael, "He was how he looked - an imp, and I loved being his shadow. I can't imagine making movies would have been half as much fun without him. He loved being naughty, finding and jumping off of small buildings on the back lot. While I was Victorian proper and wouldn't let myself get dirty or muddy, Matthew had a great sense of fun and danger. He was a daredevil and could have been a race car driver. And he did live a full life over his 21 years."

    After Matthew's treasured contributions to Disney motion pictures, he returned to England, but little is known about him from that time forward.

    Matthew Garber died on June 13, 1977, at Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, England, although his death was not commonly known until long after.
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Buddy Hackett (Film & Television)
    Inducted 2003


    Actor and comedian Buddy Hackett has been called one of America's funniest and most inventive comics. Certainly, at Disney, he's left his comedic mark on such smash hit feature films as "The Love Bug," in which he played the wacky, mystic sculptor Tennessee Steinmetz and "The Little Mermaid," in which he provided the voice of Scuttle, the daft seagull who's always showing off his false knowledge about humans to Ariel.

    Buddy's wide range of facial expressions and his distinctive voice served as inspiration to animator Dave Stephan who headed the Scuttle animation unit. "We tried to put Buddy's sort of cross-eyed look and side-of-the-mouth delivery into the character," said Stephan. "His readings were just so funny it gave us a real handle on the character and something great to work with."

    A gentle man with a huge heart off-camera, Buddy learned to make people laugh while growing up in Brooklyn, New York. As he explained, "I was a poor kid; we didn't have the material things. I wanted attention and I got it by being funny."

    Entering the work force as an apprentice upholsterer to his father, Buddy quickly made a break for show business working as a waiter-entertainer in the "borscht circuit" of the Catskill Mountains. He went on to become a popular headliner in comedy clubs across the country, which led to a starring role in the hit road production of "Call Me Mister" and later, his Hollywood debut in the 1953 motion picture "Walking My Baby Back Home," starring Donald O'Connor.

    Buddy went on to star in a number of motion pictures, including the drama "God's Little Acre" starring Robert Ryan in 1958, "The Music Man" starring Robert Preston in 1962, and the all-star comedy "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in 1963, among others. In 1988, he joined funny man Bill Murray in the comedy "Scrooged," a modern take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

    During the 1950s, he entered television, starring in a number of series including his own sitcom, "Stanley" with Carol Burnett, and in 1958, he replaced Art Carney for two years as a regular cast member on "The Jackie Gleason Show." Later, he played Hollywood comedian Lou Costello in the 1978 television film "Bud and Lou."

    Buddy first arrived at Disney to star in "The Love Bug" with Dean Jones and Michele Lee; the film became the highest-grossing motion picture in the U.S. in 1969. Two years later, he starred in the Disney television special "The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World" and in 1992, lent his voice to the character Louie in Disney's "Dinosaurs" series, which aired on ABC.

    Following the splashing success of "The Little Mermaid" in 1989, Buddy returned as the voice of Scuttle in the 2000 direct-to-video feature "The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea."

    In later years, Buddy and his wife, Sherry, were dedicated to the rescue of unwanted dogs and cats, creating a nonprofit animal refuge called "Buddy Hackett's Singita." Its annual fundraiser, the Singita Comedy Spectacular premiered at Disney's El Capitan Theater in 2002.

    Buddy Hackett died on June 30, 2003, in Malibu, California.
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Glynis Johns (Film)
    Inducted 1998



    Best known to Disney fans as feminist Winifred Banks in the Academy Award®-winning "Mary Poppins," actress Glynis Johns is everyone's favorite sister suffragette. Like many a moviegoer, Walt Disney loved her sparkling screen persona and personally asked Glynis to play the lively and witty role. His choice of casting was right on as film critic Leonard Maltin pointed out in his book, "The Disney Films," "She lights up the screen the minute she appears (in "Mary Poppins")," he wrote. "She makes every minute count and her amusing suffragette song is most enjoyable."

    Born October 5, 1923, in Pretoria, South Africa, Glynis made history when she received a degree to teach dance by age 10. By 12, she won 25 gold medals for dance in England and by 13, appeared in her first film, "South Riding." She played her first adult role in a Ministry of Information film, "49th Parallel" (U.S. title "The Invaders"), starring Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard, and Raymond Massey. And by 19, she was the youngest actress to play the lead role in the theatrical production of "Peter Pan."

    In the early 1950s, she became associated with The Walt Disney Studios, when it began to produce live-action films in England. She starred as the capricious Mary Tudor in "The Sword and the Rose" in 1953, co-starring Richard Todd, followed by "Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue," in which she played Helen Mary MacGregor, the spirited wife of a Scottish freedom fighter. In 1964, a decade later, she returned to Disney, to star in "Mary Poppins," which amassed 13 Academy Award® nominations, and garnered five Oscars®.
    Glynis also starred in such television shows as "General Electric Theatre," "The Cavanaughs," as well as her own series, "Glynis." Other programs include "Batman," "Cheers," and "Murder She Wrote," starring Angela Lansbury.

    Among her career highlights, in 1960, Glynis won an Academy Award® nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mrs. Firth in the motion picture "The Sundowners," starring Robert Mitchum. And in 1973, she received a Tony Award for her stunning stage performance as Desiree Armfeldt in Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music." In all, she has performed in more than two dozen theatrical productions and more than 50 feature films, including Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" starring Paulette Goddard, "Dear Brigette" with James Stewart, and "The Secret Garden" co-starring Derek Jacobi.

    In 1994, Glynis returned to The Walt Disney Studios to co-star in the Touchstone comedy "The Ref" with Kevin Spacey, followed by Hollywood Pictures' box office smash hit "While You Were Sleeping" starring Sandra Bullock.
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Jimmy MacDonald (Animation - Voice)
    Inducted 1993


    Jimmy Macdonald was a one-man sound effects wizard. Over his 48-year career with Disney, he created and assembled one of the largest and most impressive sound effects libraries in motion picture history, adding extra dimensions to all of Disney's animated shorts and features, beginning in 1934, including the more current "Mouseworks" television series. He also worked on the soundtracks for most of the Studio's live-action films up through the mid-1980s.

    Rarely, was there a sound Jimmy could not make with one of more than 500 innovative Rube Goldberg-like contraptions that he built from scratch. He could create sounds as obscure as a spider web shimmering or a friendly bumblebee washing up before supper. Animator Xavier Atencio once recalled, "If he couldn't get a particular sound he wanted from one of those gizmos, Jimmy would do it with his mouth."

    In 1946, Walt Disney handpicked Jimmy as his successor as the official voice of Mickey Mouse, beginning with the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of "Fun and Fancy Free." Jimmy provided the familiar falsetto for the famed mouse on all film and television projects up until the early 1980s.

    Born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1906, Jimmy came to the United States when he was only a month old. He grew up in the Philadelphia area and received a correspondence school degree in engineering before moving to California in 1927. His first job was with the Burbank Engineering Department.
    In 1934, he was playing drums and percussion for the Dollar Steamship Lines, when the band, in between cruises, was called to the Disney Studios to record for a Mickey Mouse short. Jimmy stayed on to work in the newly-formed Disney Sound Effects Department, doing vocal effects and cartoon voices. His voice repertoire included yodeling, whistling and sneezing for the Dwarfs in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," barks for Pluto, and the excitable, high-pitched voices of Chip 'n Dale on many occasions. For the 1977 animated feature "The Rescuers," he came out of retirement to provide sounds for the feisty dragonfly, Evinrude.

    On screen, Jimmy was the silhouetted figure of a timpani player in "Fantasia." Four decades later, in 1982, he assisted conductor Irwin Kostal in the digital re-recording of that film. As an original member of the popular jazz group, "The Firehouse Five Plus Two," Jimmy played drums and made several Disney television appearances in the 1950s. In the live-action film arena, he supplied sound effects for everything from the Academy Award-wining True-Life Adventure series up through "The Black Hole" in 1979.
    Jimmy Macdonald died February 1, 1991, in Los Angeles.
    Rick
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our childen"
    Walt Disney
    Talk Disney Administrator

  12. #27
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Sir John Mills (Film)
    Inducted 2002



    Veteran Actor Sir John Mills has appeared in more than 100 motion pictures during his prolific career, among them the 1960 Disney live-action "Swiss Family Robinson," in which he played the patriarch of the shipwrecked, but resourceful family.

    As Critic Leonard Maltin observed in his book The Disney Films, "John Mills strikes just the right note of adventurism (in 'Swiss Family Robinson'), tempered with humor and a genuine feeling of enjoying the whole escapade."
    Born in Felixtowe, England, in 1908, to a school master and a one-time theater manager of the Haymarket Theater in London, John was convinced of his destiny from an early age.
    "I never considered anything else," he later recalled.
    In 1929, he debuted as a song-and-dance man in a London revue, moving to the legitimate stage the following year. By 1932, he had branched out into film, becoming one of Britain's leading screen stars, playing mild-mannered, but iron-willed fellows. His early films include "The Midshipmaid" in 1932, "Those Were the Days" in 1934, and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" in 1939.

    A medical discharge forced him out of the service during World War II, but he contributed to morale by fighting the war on-screen, playing commanding characters in such films as Noel Coward's "In Which We Serve" and "We Die at Dawn".

    One of his greatest parts was in David Lean's 1946 "Great Expectations," a superb rendering of Charles Dickens' novel, in which he played Pip, the orphan who becomes a gentleman of means. The role led to a string of memorable performances in such motion pictures as "The October Man" in 1947, "Hobson's Choice" in 1954, "The End of the Affair" in 1955, "War and Peace" in 1956, "Tunes of Glory" in 1960, among others.

    Married to playwright Mary Hayley Bell, John starred with their daughter Hayley Mills in "Tiger Bay," the 1959 film in which Walt Disney first spotted his future Pollyanna star. Hayley was named a Disney Legend in 1998.

    During the 1960s, John evolved from leading man to character actor appearing in such motion pictures as "The Wrong Box" in 1966, "Oh! What a Lovely War," and "Run Wild, Run Free", both in 1969. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 1970 motion picture "Ryan's Daughter," in which he portrayed the village °°°°°.

    One of John's memorable latter-day appearances was in the 1982 feature film "Gandhi" starring Ben Kingsley, while his most recent appearances include, Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" in 1996 and the television production of "The Gentleman Thief" in 2001.

    Knighted in 1976, Sir John Mills published his photographic autobiography "Still Memories" in early 2000, documenting his career, which spanned most of the 20th Century.
    Sir John Mills died on April 23, 2005, in Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, England.
    Rick
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our childen"
    Walt Disney
    Talk Disney Administrator

  13. #28
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Robert Newton (Film & Television)
    Inducted 2002


    Among the many gifted actors who have graced Disney live-action motion pictures over the years, one in particular looms largely and menacingly in the collective memory of fans, Robert Newton, who starred as the charismatically wicked Long John Silver in Disney's first live-action film "Treasure Island," based on the classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson.

    Adept at portraying cunning villains, Robert's thunderous voice and rolling, wild eyes, mesmerized audiences when the movie, shot on location in Britain, premiered in 1950. The one and only role he ever played for Disney proved to be his most popular, leading the actor to numerous subsequent "shiver-me-timbers" performances.

    Critic Leonard Maltin wrote in his book "The Disney Films," "'Treasure Island' belongs to Robert Newton. Rereading Stevenson, one finds that Newton is Long John ..."
    "Indeed, Newton was so powerful as Silver that he found himself locked into the characterization, repeating it in an Australian-filmed feature, "Long John Silver," a TV series of the same name, and similar roles such as the title role in "Blackbeard the Pirate." Newton's trouping may have been ham, but his performance remains in the memory long after everything else has been forgotten."

    Born June 1, 1905, in Shaftesbury, England, the son of respected painter and member of the Royal Academy, Algernon Newton, Robert began his career as a stage hand at the age of 15 with the Birmingham Repertory Company, quickly working his way up to a walk-on part in "Henry VI." In 1923, he toured South Africa in "Bulldog Drummond" and the following year, made his London stage debut in "London Life at Drury Lane."

    He caught the eye of Noel Coward in 1928, while performing in "Her Cardboard Lover" with Tallulah Bankhead and Leslie Howard, which led to New York, where he replaced Laurence Olivier in "Coward's Private Lives" in 1931.

    Robert returned to London in 1932, where he ran the repertory Shilling Theatre, while appearing in such West End hits as "The Greeks Had a Word For It" in 1934 and "Hamlet" at the Old Vic in 1937.

    Around the same time, he turned his focus to motion pictures and by the late 1940s, became a leading box-office attraction in Britain, with such memorable roles as Bill Sykes in the 1948 film "Oliver Twist."

    He made his U.S. motion picture debut that same year in "Kiss the Blood Off My Hands," starring Burt Lancaster, and "The Los Angeles Times" reported that "Hollywood has finally got hold of Robert Newton, one of Britain's most versatile actors ..." Other motion pictures include "Andocles and the Lion," "The High and the Mighty," "Gaslight," "Tom Brown's Schooldays," "Around the World in 80 Days," and many more.

    Robert Newton died March 25, 1956, in Beverly Hills, California.
    Rick
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our childen"
    Walt Disney
    Talk Disney Administrator

  14. #29
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Thurl Ravenscroft (Animation - Voice)
    Inducted 1995


    Although Thurl Ravenscroft's name may not be familiar to Disney fans, his voice is. Probably best known to television audiences as the voice of Kellog's Tony the Tiger, a character he's played since 1952, Thurl is a favorite among Disney vocal performers. His voice has been featured in Disney theme park attractions, such as Country Bear Jamboree, on television programs, such as "Zorro," and animated films including "Lady and the Tramp." In fact, Walt Disney selected Thurl and his quartet, The Mellomen, to croon, as well as bark, whine and howl like canines in the delightful 1955 classic.

    Thurl later recalled, "The most fun we (The Mellomen) ever had was singing barbershop for Tramp and the other dogs. "Walt wanted the dogs to sing 'Home Sweet Home' from their prison cell - a kennel. But we had to sound like dogs, not people singing like dogs."

    Born in Norfolk, Nebraska in 1914, Thurl headed for Hollywood in 1933 to attend the Otis Art Institute. In 1937, he joined The Sportsmen Quartet, performing on the popular Jack Benny radio show. He later formed The Mellomen, which appeared with such popular artists as Elvis Presley, and in such films as "The Glenn Miller Story," starring James Stewart.

    The Walt Disney Studios often hired Thurl and his quartet to sing in its animated films including "Alice in Wonderland" and "Cinderella," and television programs including "Cavalcade of Songs" and "The Legend of Elfego Baca."
    Other Disney classic films that Thurl lent his voice to include "101 Dalmatians," "The Sword and the Stone," "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book," "Pete's Dragon," "The Fox and the Hound," and more.

    At Disneyland, his resonant voice can be heard singing vocals in It's a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain, while in the Enchanted Tiki Room, he performs the voice of Fritz the German Audio-Animatronics parrot. Thurl is not just heard, but seen in the Haunted Mansion. Guests often mistake his mustachioed face, which is featured on a broken bust in the graveyard scene, for that of Walt Disney.

    Thurl also performs on such Disneyland Records as "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," and in 1990, he sang a version of the Haunted Mansion's whimsical theme song "Grim Grinning Ghosts" on "Disney's Sing Along Songs - Disneyland Fun."

    Among Thurl's non-Disney credits, his voice can be heard in several Dr. Seuss television specials, including "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," in which he sang the memorable "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." He also played the voice of Kirby, the vacuum, in "The Brave Little Toaster," which is often aired on The Disney Channel.
    Thurl Ravenscroft died on May 22, 2005, in Fullerton, California.


    Thanks to Disney Legends
    Rick
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our childen"
    Walt Disney
    Talk Disney Administrator

  15. #30
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    Re: Disney Personalities

    Sir Tim Rice (Music)
    Inducted 2002


    Acclaimed Lyricist Sir Tim Rice created "a whole new world" of witty, entertaining and heartfelt songs performed by Disney characters in animated features, including "Aladdin" in 1992 and "The Lion King" in 1994. In addition, he contributed to Disney theatrical productions, including the Tony award-winning "The Lion King" in 1997 followed by "Aida" in 1998.

    Earlier, Tim was best known for his resounding collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, creating such 1970s musical sensations as "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Jesus °°°°°° Superstar," and "Evita," which was transformed into the 1996 Touchstone feature by the same name, starring Madonna as the Argentine grand dame. The song "You Must Have Loved Me" from the motion picture Evita resulted in an Academy Award for the duo in 1997.
    At a press conference held at the Burbank Studio, Tim modestly said, "I was walking around the Disney lot, hoping someone would make a film of Evita ..."

    Born in Amersham, England, in 1944, Tim entered the music scene as the lead singer for a pop group called the Aardvarks in 1961. His first published song "That's My Story" appeared in 1964, the same year he met Webber. The duo crafted pop songs, as well as show tunes, including "It's Easy for You," which was recorded by Elvis Presley.

    In the early 1980s, Tim collaborated with ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson on "Chess". The subsequent 1984 album featured the singles "One Night in Bangkok" and "I Know Him So Well," which topped charts in America, Europe and Asia, while the 1985 stage production became a smash hit in multiple countries. Other theatrical projects include "Tycoon," "Starmania," "Blondel," and more.
    He also collaborated with John Barry on the title song "All Time High" for the James Bond movie "Octopussy," and with Freddie Mercury for his album with opera diva Montserrat Caballe. Tim's other distinguished writing mates include Paul McCartney, Cliff Richards, Marvin Hamlisch, and others.

    The lyrical wordsmith arrived at Disney in 1991 to work with Alan Menken, writing lyrics for "Beauty and the Beast," and later contributed five new songs to the Tony award-winning stage production of "Beauty and the Beast". He went on to win Oscars for "A Whole New World" written with Menken for "Aladdin," and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" written with Elton John for "The Lion King". Their collaboration continued with the subsequent stage production, followed by "Aida". In 1997, Tim reunited with Menken, writing the book and lyrics for the Broadway concert "King David".

    Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, Sir Tim Rice is also a cricket lover and an accomplished author of such books as "The Treasures of Lords" about the famous museum at London's Lord's cricket ground.

    Thanks to Disney legends.
    Rick
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our childen"
    Walt Disney
    Talk Disney Administrator

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