Marking its 30th anniversary, The Disney Legends program will honor those that have shown exemplary contribution to The Walt Disney Company at the 2017 D23 Expo this July in Anaheim, CA. Each recipient receives a 2 foot tall bronze Disney statue that was created by Disney Imagineer, Andrea Favilli.
The Disney Legend award is based on three distinct characteristics that each award winner contributes through their various talents within The Walt Disney Company:
The Spiral – stands for imagination, the power of an idea.
The Hand – holds the gifts of skill, discipline and craftsmanship.
The Wand and the Star – represents magic: the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.
The 2017 Disney Legends Award Honorees are:
Beloved actress was best known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in the epic film collection Star Wars. Fisher worked on many Disney projects including Scream 3 (2000) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) for Dimension Films. In 2015, she returned to the Star Wars saga as General Leia Organa.
CLYDE “GERRY” GERONIMI
Joining Disney Studios in 1931, Gerry wore many hats. He was an animator for several Mickey Mouse cartoons and over 50 of the Studio’s shorts. He then moved on to being a sequence director in 1943 for the Victory Through Air Power. The high point of Gerry’s career came in 1959 when he was the supervising director of Sleeping Beauty.
Among just 33 artists to join Disney in 1936 Manuel, beat out thousands for the coveted position. In 1938, he put his pencil to work contributing to the Sunday Mickey Mouse comic strip from Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson. For 40 years he brought Mickey Mouse to life in newspapers nationwide. In 1966, Manuel Gonzales was awarded the “Mousecar” award by Walt Disney.
There is no Leia without Luke! Best known and loved for his role as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy Mark Hamill is a household name. Many may not know that Mark has performed as a voice-over actor on animated television shows, feature films, documentaries, and video games. If you have young ones, you may be surprised to learn that he appears on Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland.
Wayne started as a Walt Disney Imagineer in 1965. He worked on shows from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair that were to be installed at Disneyland Park. Jackson helped breathe life into some of the beloved rides at Disneyland – Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. He continued his work on Disney Parks attractions across the world.
Does he need an introduction? Stan Lee is Marvel Comics. He has helped bring to life most of the characters we know and love today including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Falcon. Stan Lee’s Marvel movie cameos began in 1989 with the film The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and he has appeared in almost every Marvel film since 2000.
Garry began his career by writing for hit shows that included The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show. He got his shot in 1970 when he produced The Odd Couple for ABC. To round-out his career Garry directed 18 films and acted in Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain and as the Devil in Hocus Pocus.
A Tony®- , Emmy®- , and Grammy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated filmmaker, Julie adapted the hit Disney movie, The Lion King, to a Broadway show. Receiving 11 Tony Awards nominations and playing in more than 100 cities in 19 countries The Lion King play is one of the most successful stage musicals of all time. Julie is currently directing M. Butterfly on Broadway that is slated to open Fall 2017.
For 25 years Oprah was the host of the award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is also an award-winning producer, actress and philanthropist. In 1985, Oprah was nominated for an Academy Award® for her role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 hit The Color Purple. We will see Oprah on the big screen again in Disney’s 2018 film A Wrinkle in Time as Mrs. Which.
“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor our company can bestow on an individual, reserved for those few who have truly made an indelible mark on the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “It’s a celebration of talent, a recognition of achievement, and an expression of gratitude to the men and women whose work has significantly contributed to Disney’s enduring reputation for creative excellence.” ~ Disney Press Release