Barbara Walters And Frank Gifford Among 11 Honorees To Receive Prestigous Disney Legends Awards

BURBANK, CA (October 13, 2008) – Today, The Walt Disney Company honored 11 new Disney Legends, recognizing individuals whose work has made a significant and lasting impact on the Disney legacy. The ceremony took place at the Disney Legends Plaza and was presided over by Disney president and CEO, Bob Iger. Among today’s honorees were television news icon Barbara Walters, sports broadcasting legend Frank Gifford and Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor, who provide the voices of Disney’s top animated stars Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

“Each year the Legends Ceremony represents a wonderful opportunity to remember, celebrate and honor some of the men and women who have contributed their extraordinary talents to The Walt Disney Company’s great legacy,” said Iger. “Collectively, this group has enchanted millions, young and old around the world and it is a privilege to pay tribute to them today.”

The 11 new Disney Legends include leaders in the field of music, journalism, art, performance, engineering and business. The 2008 Disney Legends honorees are as follows:

  • Television pioneer Barbara Walters;
  • Broadcasting legend Frank Gifford;
  • Voice actor Wayne Allwine (Mickey Mouse);
  • Voice actress Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse);
  • Disney Imagineer Bob Booth (Enchanted Tiki Room, New York World’s Fair Pavilions, EPCOT and Tokyo Disneyland);
  • Disney Imagineer Neil Gallagher (Mr. Lincoln for New York World’s Fair, Enchanted Tiki Room, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disneyland Paris);
  • Representative director, chairman and CEO of the Oriental Land Company; Toshio Kagami;
  • Animator Burny Mattinson (Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmations, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King);
  • Animator Walt Peregoy (Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book);
  • Disney Imagineer Dorothea Redmond (New Orleans Square, Fantasyland);
  • Musician Oliver Wallace (Dumbo, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp)

Honorees each received a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends award sculpture signifying the imagination, creativity and magic they have brought to the company. The new Disney Legends also participated in a hand-print ceremony. The prints will be displayed in bronze at Disney Legends Plaza at the company’s Burbank headquarters.

Established in 1987, the Disney Legends program honors the men and women who have contributed their tremendous creativity and imagination to the Disney legacy. The first recipient of this prestigious distinction was actor Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), and including this year’s honorees, a total of 227 Disney Legends have been named. Past Disney Legends include Julie Andrews, Steve Martin, Dick Van Dyke, Annette Funicello, Dean Jones, Angela Lansbury, Fess Parker, Kurt Russell, Tim Allen, Hayley Mills, Phil Collins, Art Linkletter, Tim Conway, Sir Tim Rice, Sir Elton John, Peter Jennings, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.