BREAKING: Meet Your 2022 Disney Legends
MickeyBlog is coming to you LIVE! from the D23 Expo in Anaheim California where we just finished our event of the day. This afternoon Disney presented their Disney Legends for 2022 and it was a magical moving experience.
For those unfamiliar, The Disney Legends Awards first began back in 1987 with the distinction being given to actor Fred MacMurray. Including this year’s honorees, 304 Disney Legends have been named including some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry like Tim Allen, Julie Andrews, Robert Downey Jr. Sir Elton John, George Lucas and more!
Here’s a rundown of this year’s nominees along with some photos we took during the event!
This beloved actress has the distinction of leading the longest-running primetime medical drama in TV history – Grey’s Anatomy. Ellen’s turn in the role has continuously elevated the series as ABC’s highest-rated drama. The actress was also nominated for a Golden Globe back in 2007.
On the series, Ellen plays the role of Dr. Meredith and the show centers around the relatable and emotional hardship of Grey and her colleagues. In real life, Ellen has devoted her time to working for positive change by encouraging women to pursue their dream carriers and advocating for normalizing gender and racial equality in the workplace.
Next up Ellen will star in and executive produce an eight-episode Hulu Original limited series currently titled Untitled Orphan Project through her production banner Calamity Jane, which she launched in 2011.
Rob’t joined Walt Disney Imagineeering back in 1990 where he worked in the Show Set Design group. Over his career he would work in many disciplines including show design, concept design and art direction before he arrived at his final role which was executive creative director. Rob’t had a hand in creating several Disney attractions including Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Muppet*Vision 3D, and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.
Recent project include Radiator Springs Races, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Tokyo Disney’s recent expansion. Rob’t retired in 2019 but to this day he keeps in touch with fellow and future Imagineers to encourage them to make the impossible possible!
Two time Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Disney Legend Patrick Dempsey is best know to fans as Dr. Derek Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy. This is a role he played for 11 season.
Early in his career, Dempsey appeared in 80s films including Can’t Buy Me Love (1987) and has on to many iconic television and film roles. Disney projects include The Magical World of Disney as Kellin Taylor in A Fighting Choice (1986), the Hollywood Pictures film Run (1991), Touchstone’s Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Brother Bear 2 (2006) as the voice of Kenai, Enchanted (2007), and the upcoming Disney+ film Disenchanted (2022).
In 2008, with the intention of giving back to the community, Patrick founded the Dempsey Center to help make life better for people managing the impact of cancer. Dempsey is also a racing enthusiast having participated in sports car events and even producing the film The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019).
Hardoon joined Walt Disney Imagineering back in 1979 as a junior designer and would rise through the ranks to become lead designer, art director and producer on a wide variety of projects including EPCOT Center, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
She additionally served as executive art director, producer and creative portfolio lead for projects including Hong Kong Disneyland. Doris left the Company in 2000 to pursue other projects but returned nine years later to help conceive, design and build Shanghai Disney Resort. Serving as executive producer, Doris provided creative direction to create an theme park that was authentically Disney while being distinctly Chinese.
In 2022 Doris also received a THEA Buzz Price Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements Award.
Anthony Anderson, a Los Angeles native, attended the High School for the Performing Arts where he earned first place in the NAACP’s ACT-SO Awards. He would go on to earn a scholarship to Howard University. Anthony would go on to appear in more than 20 films. His role in Law & Order earned him four NAACP Image Award Nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series.
Anders 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. He plays the role of Andre “Dre” Johnson in the series. Anderson has also executive produced spinoff series including grown-ish and mixed-ish. In 2020 Anthony Anderson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
Tracee Ellis Ross also starred in the groundbreaking ABC comedy series black-ish in the role of Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson. Tracee has been nominated five times for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She would go on to win in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2020 she also won the NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in a Comedy. In 2016 Ross also received Fierce and Fearless award at the 2016 Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon.
Her other Disney television credits include roles on grown-ish and mixed-ish—the latter of which she was both co-creator and executive producer—The Premise, and Private Practice. Tracee is the founder and CEO of PATTERN, a haircare brand that launched in 2019.
ROBERT PRICE “BOB” FOSTER
Robert played an integral role in Walt Disney World history. He joined the Walt Disney Company back in 1956 serving as a member of the Park Operations Committee at Disneyland before being eventually promoted to Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel. Two years later Foster was named Assistant Secretary, Walt Disney Productions where several years later he would be tasked with overseeing the land search for Walt’s top-secret “Florida Project.”
It was Bob’s job to keep the reason for buying the land a secret and he would eventually go on to purchase 43 miles of land in Central Florida for what would eventually become the Walt Disney World Resort. Bob would then later be named Vice President (Legal), Secretary and General Counsel for the Walt Disney World Co. and in 1970 was promoted to the President of Buena Vista Land Company where he would oversee the development of the resort community in Lake Buena Vista. Bob retired in 1974
Receiving this award posthumously on his behalf was Bob’s daughter Debbie Swensen.
Montan joined the Walt Disney Company in 1984 and in only three years was named vice president of music for motion pictures and television. In 1997, Variety named him musical supervisor of the decade and his work includes overseeing the soundtracks for some of Disney’s most-loved musicals including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules.
In 1999 Chris was named President of Walt Disney Music where he would go on to oversee the music for Disney and Pixar films as well as Disney Theatrical stage productions and Disney Parks and Resorts. Monton has been nominated for numerous Grammy awards and would win Best Original Cast Recording for Aida and Best Compilation Soundtrack for Frozen. He also has 45 Academy Award nominations under his belt including 16 Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Original Score categories.
Known for his memorable performances in theater, film and television, Groff is popular with Disney fans the world over for voicing the character Kristoff in both Frozen and Frozen 2, the top two highest-grossing animated films of all time. Other credits include Frozen Fever (2015), LEGO Disney Frozen: Northern Lights (2016), Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017), Once Upon a Snowman (2020), and numerous video games, consumer products, and theme park experiences.
Groff also appeared as Jesse St. James on the Emmy- and Golden Globe-award-winning television series Glee and Groff originated the role of King George III in the Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Hamilton on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance, and was part of the featured cast immortalized in the Emmy-winning Disney+ Original release of the hit show.
Groff also received an individual Emmy nomination for his performance in the filmed production.
Bell is an award-winning actor, author and producer who landed her first role with Disney by voicing Hiromi in the Studio Ghibli classic The Cat Returns for its US release back in 2005. Her voice-acting would ultimate lead her to work on the two highest-grossing features in Disney history Frozen and Frozen 2. In the films, Bell voices the role of Anna an optimistic, comical, fearless princess (who became Queen) of Arendelle
Other credits with Disney includes Frozen Fever (2015), Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017), Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018), and Once Upon a Snowman (2020), along with numerous video games, theme park experiences, and consumer products. Kristen also voiced Priscilla the sloth in 2016’s Oscar®-winning Zootopia and in the upcoming Disney+ series Zootopia+.
Gad wins my award for favorite speech of the night. The Tony Award-nominated actor warmed his way into the hearts of countless viewers as Olaf, the loveable snowman in the Frozen films. Gad has gone on to reprise the role of Olaf on several occasions including Frozen Fever (2015), LEGO® Disney Frozen: Northern Lights (2016), Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017), At Home with Olaf (2020), Once Upon a Snowman (2020), and Olaf Presents (2021).
Gad won two Annie Awards for Outstanding voice actor for his role as Olaf. In 2017, Gad also starred as LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and in 2020, he portrayed Mulch Diggums in Artemis Fowl.
Other noteworthy Disney projects include Mickey’s 90th Spectacular (2018), The Disney Family Singalong (2020), Murder on the Orient Express (2017), Modern Family (2011), and Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom (2020). Gad’s Broadway talent is also showcased as both a creator and star of the Emmy-nominated 20th Television Animation musical series, Central Park (2020–).
Menzel is an accomplished actor, singer, songwriter and philanthropist who rose to fame on the Broadway stage. Menzel would win a 2004 Tony Award for her legendary performances as Elphaba in Wicked. However, in Disney circles she is known as the voice of Queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. She has reprised the role several times over the years including Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) and Frozen 2 (2019), along with numerous animated shorts, theme park experiences, and consumer products. Idina’s performance of “Let it Go” from the film reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Idina also stared as Nancy Tremaine in Enchanted (2007) and is soon to reprise the role in the Disney+ sequel, Disenchanted. She is also a songwriter and her original song “Dream Girl” from the film Cinderella was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Hahn joined Walt Disney Studios in 1976 in the Art Props Morgue but his animation career would take off when he worked as an inbetweener on Pete’s Dragon and later as assistant director for 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).
Hahn’s list of credits also includes The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), The Emperor’s New Groove (2000), Maleficent (2014), and the live-action Beauty and the Beast (2017). He also executive produced the Disneynature films Earth (2009), Oceans (2010), African Cats (2011), and Chimpanzee (2012).
Don is also the author of several Disney Editions books, including The Alchemy of Animation, Before Ever After, and Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney’s Magical Mid-Century. His most recent Disney credits include hosting the documentary Adventure Thru the Walt Disney Archives (2020).
The late Chadwick Boseman was fueled by purpose and his unwavering commitment would see him take on writing, directing, acting and activism. He had a breakout performance playing Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up and as the young Thurgood Marshall in Marshall before taking on the title role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther. The film won critical acclaim, would go on to break multiple box office records and received seven Academy Award nominations including Marvel’s first ever Best Picture nomination.
Boseman won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture and a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Other acting credits would include 21 Bridges, Da 5 Bloods, directed by Academy Award winner Spike Lee and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom which would earn him an Academy Award Nomination. Boseman was most recently nominated for an Emmy award for his work on the Disney+ animated series What If…?
Boseman’s award was received by his brother Derrick, who in a touching speech talked about how his brother lived his life honorably.
Each of today’s Honorees will receive a two foot tall bronze Disney Legends Sculpture that signifies the imagination, creative and magic they have brought to the Walt Disney Company. Participants will also get to appear in a handprint ceremony and their bronze prints will be on display at Disney Legends Plaza at the Company’s main office in Burbank.
Congratulations to all of the Disney Legends for 2022! Readers are encouraged to keep following along with MickeyBlog for further Walt Disney World news and updates. We’ll be coming to you LIVE! from the D23 Expo all weekend long!
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