I am not sure that there is any greater honor than to become a Disney Legend.
The Disney Legends Awards, established in 1987, recognize individuals who have made an integral and extraordinary contribution to The Walt Disney Company. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee, formerly appointed and chaired by Roy E. Disney, Walt’s nephew. They receive an award statuette, are represented by a bronze commemorative plaque typically featuring their handprints and signature (unless awarded posthumously), and are given a Disney Golden Pass – a lifetime pass to all Disney theme parks. The plaques are displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at Disney’s headquarters in Burbank, California.
Eleven new people will be honored as Disney Legends at the D23 Expo in August this year. Among those adding ‘Disney Legend’ to their already long list of accolades are The Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean composer Hans Zimmer, The Lion King and Star Wars voice actor James Earl Jones, former executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering Wing Chao, broadcast anchors Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer, Mulan and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD actress Ming-Na Wen, screenwriter and Hocus Pocus star Bette Midler, director and choreographer Kenny Ortega, and MCU stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau.
Past Disney Legends include Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Lansbury, Mary Costa, Mary Blair, Tim Allen, Julie Andrews, Adriana Caselotti, Alan Menken, Beatrice Arthur, Ilene Woods, Howard Ashman, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Steve Martin, Oprah Winfrey, Stan Lee, Fess Parker, Sir Tim Rice, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters, and Betty White.
“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor we can bestow; it’s a recognition of talent, a celebration of achievement, and an expression of profound gratitude to the remarkable men and women who have made an indelible mark on our company and our creative legacy,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “This year’s honorees have earned a place in our hearts and our history for their significant contributions in film, television and our theme parks around the world.”
To read more about the 2019 Disney Legends Award honorees, check out this article published in The Walt Disney Company Website.