The first of a series of posts detailing the life and work of Disney legend Walt Disney, who died Thursday at age 93.
The Disney family, he was known for creating such beloved characters as Mickey Mouse, the titular hero of the classic animated films, and his eponymous character, the diminutive, white-haired, blue-eyed and green-eyed anthropomorphic creature known as the King of Hearts.
Disney’s animated films have sold more than 5 billion units worldwide and continue to inspire generations of young people and adults.
The theme parks, resorts, theme parks and theme gardens of Disney World and Disney California Adventure have been a source of inspiration and inspiration to millions of young and old for more than 70 years.
He was born in Chicago, Ill., on March 20, 1925.
Disney’s father, Walt Disney Sr., worked at a theater company as a stage manager and then worked for a variety of other businesses, including a radio station, a jewelry store and a chain restaurant, among others.
His mother, Ruth Ann Disney, also worked as a music teacher at a local high school and also a school bus driver, according to Disney biography.
He began attending the Walt Disney High School in Hollywood, Calif., in 1936, and in 1938 was accepted to the prestigious University of Southern California.
He graduated from there in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
Disney worked as an actor and dancer for more to come.
He later appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including “The Jungle Book,” “Avenue Q,” “Gentleman Jack,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “Pitch Perfect” and “The Nutcracker.”
He also had a recurring role in the 1980s sitcom “Friends.”
After graduation, he moved to New York City to pursue his acting career.
He earned his first leading role in 1940 as Mickey in the musical “The Little Mermaid.”
He was cast as a minor character in the 1949 animated film “A New Beginning” opposite the likes of Shirley Temple and Marlon Brando.
Disney went on to star in several movies, including 1944’s “Hair of the Dog,” 1947’s “Punch-Drunk Love” and 1954’s “Cinderella.”
He was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor in 1954.
He also worked in television, as an assistant on the animated television series “My Fair Lady” from 1963 to 1968, as well as in movies and TV specials.
Disney was also the producer of numerous other films, including the animated short films “The Lion King,” “Pinocchio” and the short story “The Story of Zorro.”
Disney also produced the children’s classic film “Mickey Mouse,” the animated feature film “The Wonderful World of Oscar Wao” and several animated television shows, according the Disney biography, “The Legend of Mickey Mouse.”
He also made appearances in numerous video games, including for the popular “Wally the Car” franchise, which included the popular video game, “Mickeys vs. the World,” which was produced by Atari, according a 1997 biography.
Disney also was a big part of the entertainment industry during the 1950s, as a co-owner of the Walt Williams, a music label.
In 1956, Disney bought out the Williams Brothers and turned his attention to producing animation.
He created the Mickey Mouse films, such as “Aladdin,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Halloween Fever” and even “Pinoo’s Haunted Castle,” as well Disney’s own animated TV show, “Walt Disney World.”
Disney went out of his way to create a film career in the early 1960s, with the first feature film, “Cars,” starring Cary Grant.
He also worked with such names as John Wayne, Jackie Chan, Jackie Gleason and Michael Jackson.
Disney later expanded his animation efforts with the popular Disney animated TV series, “Frozen,” which featured the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Bill Murray and Michael Eisner.
He was also a producer on the feature film sequel, “Toy Story,” and a producer of the short film “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”
He and his wife, Alice, were married in 1972.
They had two children, a son, John, and a daughter, Grace.