From actors to sportscasters, imagineers to executives, the Disney family lost many in 2015. Please join us as we remember those that left their legacy on The Walt Disney Company.
Stuart Scott joined ESPN2 to give the network an anchor that would appeal to a younger demographic that the channel was trying to cater to at the time. As he progressed through the ranks he gained a following for his different style of sportscasting. Known for his catch phrases, he would host many projects for ESPN and would eventually become the lead anchor for the NBA. After fighting cancer for 8 years, he received the Jimmy V Awarf for perseverance he said, ""When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live."
Stan Freberg was an author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer and advertising creative director. But he even admited that among his career highlights was voicing Mr. Busy the Beaver in Lady and the Tramp. Later on, he would voice several Disney projects such as Hercules: The Animated Series, An All New Adventure of Disney's Sport Goofy, Down and Out with Donald Duck, and The Wuzzles. He will also be remembered for being a strong supporter of Walt Disney and animation.
Christopher Lee has many Disney credits to his name. From Dr. Victor Gannon in Return from Witch Mountain to voicing Ansem the Wise in the Kingdom Hearts series. He also provided the voice of theJabberwocky in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. But now that Star Wars is part of the Disney family, his major role as Count Dooku in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith will be his biggest Disney legacy from his light saber battle with Yoda to his beheading by Anakin, he played a large role in many of the film's highlights.
Blaine Gibson joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1939 as an inbetweener and assistant animator on films like Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland. But when Walt saw one of Blaine's sculpture exhibitions in 1954, Blaine's Disney legacy went into overdrive. He sculpted figures for the Haunted Mansion, it’s a small world, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, and Pirates of the Caribbean. He would sculpt Abraham Lincoln for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair and continue to supervise the creation of all the other U.S. Presidents through George W. Bush in 2001 for The Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World. He was named a Disney Legend in 1993.
While a hall of fame football player, it is for his broadcasting work that Frank Gifford was named a Disney Legend in 2008. He joined ABC in 1971 for the second season of Monday Night Football and would remain with the series until 1998. He ended up calling more games in the Monday Night Football booth than any other commentator. In addition to covering football for the network, Gifford was a memorable part of many other ABC programs, including seven Olympics, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and Good Morning America.
Walt Disney saw future Disney Legend Dean Jones on the television show Ensign O’Tool, which aired right before Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, and cast him in the 1965 feature film That Darn Cat! Jones would go on to appear in eleven films for Disney including The Ugly Dachshund, The Love Bug and its follow-up Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo,The Shaggy D.A. He would return to Disney to appear in follow-ups to his inconic role including the 1997 remake of That Darn Cat! and the made-for-television Love Bug. He was named a Disney Legend in 1995.
More commenly known by his stage name "Moochie," he made his Disney debut in Adventure in Dairyland for the Mickey Mouse Club. Walt was so impressed with this young star that he had him written into The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty. Film roles followed such as The Shaggy Dog, Pollyanna, Swiss Family Robinson, and Toby Tyler and his iconic role in Old Yeller. Following his acting career, he returned to behind-the-scenes roles for film's such as Superdad and Pete’s Dragon, and on television series including The New Mickey Mouse Club and The Kids Who Knew Too Much. He was named a Disney Legend in 2006.
Robert Loggia had a long career in Hollywood with roles in such hits as Scarface, Idenpendence Day, and Big. But despite a voice role in Oliver & Company as Sykes, he is best known to Disney fans at the title character in TV's Nine Lives of Elfego Baca from 1958. Those 10 episodes of the Disney anthology series became fondly remembered as will forever cement this "tough guy" in the Disney history books
Carson Van Osten
Following a brief career as a rock star, Carson Van Osten joined Disney in 1970 as an illustrator on the Mickey Mouse comic books. He would work his way up to becoming Vice President of Creative Resources for Disney Consumer Products. Iconic projects that Van Osten has contributed to include the logo concepts for Mickey Mouse’s 50th and 60th birthdays, The Walt Disney Studios, and the Disneyland Hotel clock tower “Mickey” at Disneyland Paris. More recently, he has served as a consultant for the Disney Epic Mickey and Where’s My Mickey? games. He was named a Disney Legend in 2015.