Disney will be honoring a new group of actors as Disney Legends, an award that recognizes those who have made an extraordinary impact on The Walt Disney Company. The award has honored its brightest stars since Fred MacMurray won one in 1987, and since then Walt Disney has celebrated 289 legends. 11 more will join the impressive roster of award winners, and the new additions were announced on Good Morning America. The ceremony will be hosted by Disney CEO Bob Iger and will take place on Friday, August 23rd at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The 11 Disney Legend award winners include Wing Chao, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, Ming-Na Wen, James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Kenny Ortega, Barnette Ricci, Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer, and Hans Zimmer.
“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor we can bestow; it’s a recognition of talent, a celebration of achievement, and an expression of profound gratitude to the remarkable men and women who have made an indelible mark on our company and our creative legacy,” said Bob Iger, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This year’s honorees have earned a place in our hearts and our history for their significant contributions in film, television, and our theme parks around the world.”
Chao has worked for Disney 37 years and played a vital role in designing and developing projects at Disney parks and resorts worldwide. He also served as executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering and developed and built resort hotels, parks, cruise ships, sports stadiums, restaurants, and more at Walt Disney's various properties all over the world.
Robert Downey Jr. has, of course, helped launch the MCU with his hit franchise Iron Man, and has helped deliver the juggernaut films that followed, including the latest of the Avengers films Avengers: Endgame, which has already brought in over 2 billion at the box office. Jon Favreau was right there alongside him in the director's chair for Iron Man, and also successfully brought The Jungle Book to life via live-action. He will work more magic when The Lion King hits later this year.
James Earl Jones has many credits to his name, but he is so iconically tied to Star Wars as the voice of Darth Vader and to The Lion King as the voice of Mufasa. He's also been featured in a number of other Disney projects in between winning all those Oscars, Emmys, and Tonys.
Bette Middler helped Disney launch Touchstone Pictures with several big hits for the studio, including the beloved Beaches, which also featured her platinum-selling cover of Wind Beneath My Wings. She would also play the voice of Georgette in Oliver & Company and become a beloved witch in Hocus Pocus.
You can check out the full list of nominees and credits right here.
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