Walt Disney's Nephew Roy E. Disney Passes Away at Age 79

December 16, 2009

Roy E. Disney

It has been officially confirmed by THR that Roy E. Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney who became a powerful behind-the-scenes influence on the family business, has died today at the age of 79. Not everyone may be familiar with Roy Disney, but he was one of the most influential people inside of the Walt Disney Company, helping turn it into the immensely successful company, movie studio, and powerful global brand that it is today. Back in 2005, he resigned both as an executive and as a member of the board of directors, although he's remained intimately involved in the company ever since. He died earlier today from cancer.

Although I never personally had the opportunity to meet Roy Disney, he was prominently featured in the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty, which I saw just a few months back at the Telluride Film Festival. He carried the magic of Disney in his blood and held true to that imaginative spirit as best he could. He is perhaps best known for organizing the ousting of two top Disney executives: first, Ron Miller in 1984, and then Michael Eisner in 2005. He also worked as a writer and producer for the company in his younger years. He's done more for Disney than most probably know and he'll be remembered forever. Rest in peace, Roy.

The Archive of American TV has a wonderful six part interview with Roy that you can watch on YouTube.

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Reader Feedback - 9 Comments



Al on Dec 16, 2009


" Disneyland will never be finished so long as imagination exists" - walt disney Roy was the personification of this legacy. Rest in peace

indyjack86 on Dec 16, 2009


🙁 Not a good day..

Hedgehog on Dec 16, 2009


The passing of a Titan. You will be missed Roy. RIP

Matt on Dec 16, 2009


I loved this man he will be truly missed!!!

John on Dec 16, 2009


Didn't he open Disney World? This is very sad

Kaiser on Dec 17, 2009


#6 His father did. Mr Disney thank you for everything you will be truly missed!

John on Dec 17, 2009


No, now who will have Disney's interest at heart? Pixar needs total control.

Johnny Neat on Dec 17, 2009


WHY NOW!?!?!?!

guh on Dec 17, 2009

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