Nine New Disney Legends Announced

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Disney Announces Nine New Disney Legends to be Honored at 2017 D23 Expo

Each year at D23, Disney announces a new list of celebrities and industry influencers who will join the ranks of other Disney Legends like Alan Menken, John Lasseter, Michael Eisner, Julie Andrews, Tom Hanks and Walt Disney himself.

The Disney Legends Award is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year having honored 276 of the company’s brightest stars and legendary contributors. The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor the Walt Disney Company can bestow on an individual, reserved for those few who have truly made an indelible mark on the history of The Walt Disney Company, says Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger.

“It’s a celebration of talent, a recognition of achievement, and an expression of gratitude to the men and women whose work his significantly contributed to Disney’s enduring reputation for creative excellence,” said Iger.

Since the first D23 Expo in 2009, fans have been able to watch the Disney Legends ceremony live. The ceremony is hosted by CEO Bob Iger himself, and takes place 10 a.m. on Friday, July 14th during the D23 Expo.

This year’s honorees celebrate the careers and contributions of actors, animators, imagineers, directors and industry leaders. The nine new Disney legends to be honored at this year’s D23 expo include:

Carrie Fisher as General Leia

Carrie Fisher

It’s hard to believe that Carrie Fisher is a new Disney Legend, but not as surprising when you consider that Star Wars only became a Disney property in 2012. Fisher passed away late last year of a cardiac arrest. Her impact on the film industry was undeniable, with many acknowledging her talent for comedy and writing. Best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars franchise, Fisher was an accomplished author, playwright, screenwriter and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness. Her most recent contribution to film, was in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in which she reprised her role as Leia, but this time as a General – not a princess. Audiences will get to see Fisher’s final acting role as Leia in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Mark Hamill Disney Legend

Mark Hamill

Along with Fisher, Mark Hamill will be honored as a new Disney Legend at this year’s D23 Expo. Best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, Hamill’s earliest Disney role was on ABC’s General Hospital. Most recently, Hamill lent his voice to Miles from Tomorrowland and Milo Murphy’s Law. His voice over work for The Joker in the Batman animated series, recently earned him a BAFTA award. Hamill returned as Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens. While it was a minor appearance at the end of the film, audiences will get to see more of Skywalker in The Last Jedi.

Stan Lee Disney Legend

Stan Lee

If you haven’t spotted this comic book legend in the latest Marvel film, you’re not looking hard enough. Stan Lee made his debut with a Captain America story in 1941, and by 1942 was promoted to editor at Timely Comics at just 18 years old. Lee co-created an amazing roster of Marvel’s most beloved characters including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Daredevil and Falcon. Disney bought Marvel in 2009. With the box-office powerhouses Marvel films have become, Stan Lee is a proper Disney Legend.

Gary Marshall Disney Legend

Garry Marshall

Garry Marshall, another new Disney Legend no longer with us, wrote for a number of hit shows before becoming one of the most admired directors in the industry. His writing for hit shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show helped audiences fall in love with the characters. He produced several successful shows including The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and Joanie Loves Chachi. Marshall directed 18 films, some of which were for Disney, including Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries.

Other new Disney Legends to be announced at the D23 Expo include Oprah Winfrey for her award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show; Julie Taymor for her adaptation of The Lion King for Broadway; Wayne Jackson for his long career as a Walt Disney Imagineer; Manuel Gonzales for his animation work; and Clyde Geronimi for his work on more than 50 Disney shorts.

Watch these new Disney Legends be honored live at the 2017 D23 Expo taking place in the Anaheim Convention Center July 14th.

Michelle McKinley is a journalist and digital marketer from Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Journalism degree from Pepperdine University, and has been writing for the web since 2003. She’s a life-long Disney fan who travels and writes about her experiences for fun.

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