This July Disney will hold its fifth biannual D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. At every convention, the studio honors a handful of people with the official Disney Legend title, which, as Chairman and CEO Bob Iger explains, “is the highest honor our 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.”
This year is the 30th anniversary of the Disney Legend Awards, with the first being handed out to Fred MacMurray in 1987.
Among this year’s honorees will be the late Carrie Fisher, primarily known in the Disney family as Princess Leia in Star Wars. She passed away at the end of last year after a long and wonderful career as an actor, author, screenwriter, and mental health advocate, who was beloved by many people.
Joining her as an honoree will be her Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill, known for his role as Luke Skywalker as well as a prominent voice actor.
Artists Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi and Manuel Gonzales, who both joined the studio back in the 1930s, the former as an animator who served as the supervising director for Sleeping Beauty and the latter as an artist who worked on Mickey Mouse comic strips for 40 years. Disney Imagineer Wayne Jackson, who began his career with Disney in 1965, will also be awarded the honor.
The last four honorees for this year’s ceremony include the Marvel great Stan Lee, the late director Garry Marshall, award-winning filmmaker Julie Taymor who brought The Lion King to Broadway, and the legendary Oprah Winfrey.
The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 14, in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets for the expo are available now.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor