Roy Disney Passed Away today at 79

by Joey Paur

Roy E. Disney

Roy E. Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney died this morning at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach. He was 79 years old. Disney has been fighting stomach cancer for some time now.

Disney devoted the first 20 years of his career to making nature films, among them Pancho, A Dog of the Plains, The Owl That Didn't Give A Hoot and an Oscar-nominated short subject Mysteries of the Deep. After the death of Walt in 1966 and Roy's father in 1971, the younger Disney was spurned in his efforts to take a larger role with the company. He finally quit in 1977, but remained on its board as a director, where he was largely a figurehead.

Roy spent much of his life working for his uncle Walt and his father Roy O. Disney, but in his later years he became major force  in keeping the Disney family traditions alive. He was instrumental in bringing Michael Eisner into the company in the 80's. He helped change Disney's image and got it rolling in the right direction during the 80's. A decade later Roy lead a revolt against Eisner, which eventually led to his resignation.

The LA Times wrote up a fascinating article that details Roy Disney's life and I suggest you read it if you want to know more.

Our hearts and prayers go out to his family.

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