After a yearlong battle with stomach cancer, Walt Disney’s nephew Roy Edward Disney died Wednesday at the age of 79. Roy was the son of Roy O. Disney, who co-founded the Disney Entertainment business with Walt in 1923. Roy E. was born in Los Angeles seven years after his father and uncle began building the Disney empire.
Roy E. joined the family business in 1953 as an assistant film editor at the Walt Disney Studios. He was involved with the company for 56 years, his career culminating in 2003 when he stepped down as Vice Chairman of Disney’s board and chairman of the Disney Studios’ Animation Department.
“Disney played a key role in the revitalization of the Walt Disney Co. and Disney’s animation legacy,” says the company. “As head of Disney animation, Disney helped to guide the studio to a new golden age of animation with an unprecedented string of artisitc and box office successes that included ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Aladdin,’ and ‘The Lion King.’