The 2022 class of Disney Legends has just been announced, and for its 35th anniversary, the Legends will be honored at next month’s D23 Expo.
The 2022 Legends
The 2022 list of Disney Legends spans film, TV, Broadway, and more. This year’s list of Legends even has several connections who have worked together.
Here are this year’s Disney Legends Award honorees:
He starred in and executive produced ABC’s Emmy-nominated sitcom “black-ish,” winning seven NAACP Image Awards and earning seven Emmy and three Golden Globe® nominations for his role as Andre “Dre” Johnson in the series.
He also executive produced and appeared in the “black-ish” spinoff series “grown-ish” and “mixed-ish.” His recent credits include ABC’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’”(2019), and as host of ABC’s game show “To Tell the Truth” (2016–).
She landed her first role with Disney by lending her voice to Hiromi in the Studio Ghibli classic “The Cat Returns,” for the U.S. DVD release in 2005, but she’s best known to Disney fans as the voice of Princess Anna in the “Frozen” franchise.
Kristen also voiced Priscilla the sloth in 2016’s Oscar®-winning “Zootopia” and will do so again in the upcoming Disney+ series “Zootopia+.”
The versatile actor embodied his role of T’Challa/The Black Panther in several Marvel movies including “Black Panther.” Boseman won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture alongside the film’s ensemble.
He also voiced the character in season one of Marvel’s “What If…?” series, where he is up for a posthumous Emmy.
He joined Walt Disney Imagineering in 1990 in the Show Set Design group, and over time landed in his final role as an executive creative director before retiring in 2019.
Early in his career he had a hand in the creation of several attractions that have delighted Disney fans for decades, such as “Mickey’s PhilharMagic,” “Muppet*Vision 3D,” and “Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.”
More recently, he was a major creative force behind some of Disney Park’s most ambitious projects, including “Radiator Springs Racers,” “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway,” and recent expansions at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Dempsey is best known as Dr. Derek Shepherd in ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” a role he played for 11 seasons. His other work with Disney includes “The Magical World of Disney” film “A Fighting Choice” (1986), Touchstone’s “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987), the Hollywood Pictures film “Run” (1991), Touchstone’s “Sweet Home Alabama” (2002), Disney’s “Brother Bear” (2006) as the voice of Kenai, and Disney’s “Enchanted” (2007).
He’ll return for the upcoming Disney+ sequel “Disenchanted” (2022).
Robert Price “Bob” Foster
He began his Disney career in 1956, joining the Walt Disney Productions legal department. He later served as a member of the Park Operations Committee for Disneyland and was promoted to Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel in 1958.
In 1963, Walt and Roy O. Disney selected Bob to head the land search for their top-secret “Florida Project.” In 1970, Foster was promoted to President of the Buena Vista Land Company, where he was responsible for overseeing development of the resort community of Lake Buena Vista.
In 1974, Bob retired from Walt Disney Productions as Vice President, Real Estate.
The Tony Award®-winning actor and singer is best known as the voice of Olaf from the “Frozen” franchise.
In 2017, Gad starred as LeFou, the memorable and iconic sidekick to Gaston, in the live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” and in 2020, he portrayed Mulch Diggums in “Artemis Fowl.”
Groff is best known to Disney audiences as the voice of Kristoff in the “Frozen” franchise, but he also originated the role of King George III in the Pulitzer Prize-winning production of “Hamilton” on Broadway. He received a Tony Award nomination for his performance, and was part of the featured cast immortalized in the Emmy-winning Disney+ Original film of the hit show.
He also appeared as Jesse St. James on the Emmy- and Golden Globe-award-winning television series “Glee,” which is now streaming on Disney+.
He joined The Walt Disney Studios in 1976 in the Art Props Morgue. His animation career took off when he worked as an inbetweener on “Pete’s Dragon” (1977), and later as assistant director on “The Fox and the Hound” (1981).
He was Production Manager of “The Black Cauldron” (1985) and “The Great Mouse Detective” (1986), then turned to producing on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988), “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), and “The Lion King” (1994).
His other credits include “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996), “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000), “Maleficent” (2014), and the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” (2017).
She joined Walt Disney Imagineering in 1979 as a junior designer, then quickly rose through the ranks to lead designer, art director, and producer on a variety of groundbreaking projects around the globe, including EPCOT Center, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as Disney Cruise Line and Disney entertainment centers nationwide.
She additionally served as executive art director, producer, and creative portfolio lead for projects including Hong Kong Disneyland, and she helped conceive, design, and build Shanghai Disney Resort.
Tony-award winning Menzel is best known to Disney fans as the voice of Queen Elsa in the “Frozen” franchise, as well as the singer of the Oscar- and Grammy-winning song “Let It Go” from the film.
She also appeared as Nancy Tremaine in Disney’s “Enchanted” (2007) and is soon to reprise the role in the Disney+ sequel, “Disenchanted.”
She recently hosted the livestream of “Harmonious Live” for Disney+.
He joined The Walt Disney Company in 1984, and within three years was named vice president of music for motion pictures and television. In 1997, Variety named him “musical supervisor of the decade” after he oversaw such classic and best-selling film soundtracks as “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Sister Act,” “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “Hercules.”
Montan was named President of Walt Disney Music in 1999, and was responsible for overseeing music for Disney and Pixar animated feature films, Disney Theatrical stage productions, and Disney Parks and Resorts, worldwide.
The actress has played Dr. Meredith Grey on ABC’s highest-rated drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” which is about to start its 19th season.
Tracee Ellis Ross
The actress starred in ABC’s “black-ish” for its eight season run, where she also served as a producer and director.
Ross was nominated five times for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the role, and won the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2020 NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.
She next will host “The Hair Tales” docuseries for Hulu.
The Disney Legends Awards ceremony will open this year’s D23 Expo, and will take place on Friday, September 9, at 10:30am in Hall D23 inside the Anaheim Convention Center. Emmy® Award winner Tamron Hall will host.
Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and is included in the price of a ticket to D23 Expo 2022.
The ceremony will be streamed as part of D23 Expo [LIVE], and will feature musical performances, special guests, and surprises for the audience, including a special performance by cast members from Disney On Broadway’s productions of “Aladdin” and “The Lion King,” as well as The North American Tour of “Frozen.”
Honorees receive a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to the Company.
Disney Legends Award recipients will also participate in a handprint ceremony at the end of the event, and their bronzed prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at The Walt Disney Company’s Burbank headquarters.
The Disney Legends Awards program is a 35-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company, which began when Fred MacMurray (“The Shaggy Dog,” “The Absent-Minded Professor,” “The Happiest Millionaire”) was honored in 1987.
Including this year’s honorees, a total of 304 Disney Legends have been named.