Roy Disney, Nephew to Walt, Dead at 79

By Scott Weber
|  Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 1:06 PM PDT
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Roy E. Disney arrives at the world premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Morning Light" held at the El Capitan Theatre on October 7, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

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Roy Disney, nephew to Walt Disney, has died at the age of 79.

Disney was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded.

Disney devoted his early career to making nature films including "The Owl That Didn't Give A Hoot" and an Oscar-nominated short subject "Mysteries of the Deep."

He is perhaps best known for organizing the ousting of two top Disney executives: first, Ron Miller in 1984, and then Michael Eisner in 2005 which led to the company's successful revival in animation.

"People always underestimated Roy," Peter Schneider, the former president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, told the LA Times. "You underestimate Roy at your peril, as many people have learned."

Disney owned over 16 million shares or about 1% of the company and served as a consultant for the company and Director Emeritus for the Board of Directors.

Disney had been battling cancer and died Wednesday morning.


 

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