Dec 16, 2009

Roy Disney Has Died: 1930-2009

Roy Disney. courtesy of

Animation has lost a great friend who more than lived up to the legacy of his last name.

Roy E. Disney. "Roy Boy", yachtsman and master of the Shamrock and Pyewacket, father, husband, son and nephew passed away from cancer today at the age of 79.

I've just read about it here, at the blog of the Animation Union Local 839. They have nothing more at the moment but I hope they'll write a longer post about Roy (he was known to everyone on a first-name basis as were his father Roy and his uncle Walt).

There's a lot to be said about him. He was by all the accounts I've ever heard an accessible, friendly, direct and intelligent man whose belief in his family's legacy of entertainment-quality entertainment-was borne out by a hell of lot of hard work both in front of and behind the scenes of the Disney studio.

It can also be fairly argued that it's through his personal efforts that we have any kind of viable feature-length animation scene in place today, much less one that makes billions and has changed the face of entertainment, not incidentally furthering the development of an artform.

He will be terribly missed. I'll miss seeing him--he always made a point of attending animation get-togethers, ones other men of his stature might have found too humble to bother with. He loved artists and was loved by them in return. Vaya con Dios, Roy.

EDITED TO ADD: There's an obituary up at the Los Angeles Times blog, which must be seen not least for a great photograph of Roy circa 1985.


David said...

It's a sad news. I always see the qualities you name and heard he fought for not closing the animation dpt at Disney. Sorry for my English. Your blog is great, by the way.

Jenny Lerew said...

David: thanks for the comments. You express yourself perfectly-much better than I usually do!

OnTheLot said...

I remember from time to time seeing his red Ferrari in the underground parking of the Studio lot and feeling that is the way it should be, a Disney on the Disney lot. RIP Roy.

Disneyland Extinct Attractions said...

Roy Disney passed away today
Tonight we will have a special tribute podcast to Mr. Roy Disney
at 5pm, on

here is a clip of an interview I did with him in 2005: