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Walter Elias Disney (5. December 1901-15. December 1966), known as Walt Disney, was an American producer, animator, and businessman. The founder of the Walt Disney Company, Disney contributed to its media in many ways.
Career[edit | edit source]
As a teenager, Walt wanted to join the fight against the Germans in the first World War. He was dismissed because he was too young, but he faked his birthday and was later sent to France.
When Walt returned, he went to Hollywood in 1923 and started a film studio with his brother Roy Oliver Disney. Their first production was the cartoon series Alice's Wonderland, a combination of live action and animation. In 1924 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created. When Disney's Oswald contract was pulled back, and they no longer had the right to draw him, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks sat down to create a new character.
That character became Mickey Mouse. Mickey and the short film Steamboat Willie soon became a hit, and Mickey Mouse is now the known as the symbol of the Disney universe. Disney voiced Mickey himself (and occasionally other characters) until his smoking habit damaged his voice too much for him to do so.
Though the driving force behind most of the studios' films late into the 1960's, Disney rarely took the post of director officially past the 1930's. He also contributed to early Disney comics; Disney's first actual comic was the Mickey Mouse story Lost on a Desert Island, drawn by Ub Iwerks and Win Smith. He also wrote the first pages to Peg-Leg Pete's first story, Mickey Mouse In Death Valley.
In the 50's and 60's, Disney acted as the host of the Disneyland TV anthology program; while his role was sometimes that of a down-to-earth host, he was always reciting dialogue prepared by the writers (in a "kindly" Walt Disney persona nicknamed "Uncle Walt", to which Disney honestly felt ashamed that he did not live up to), and on many occasions "Uncle Walt" interacted with in-universe characters such as Donald Duck or Ludwig Von Drake; a fictionalized version of himself can thus arguably be considered Disney's last acting role.