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January 18

January 18, 1941 – Birth of Disney Legend David Stollery.

David Stollery's title card from the serial Annette.

“I wonder how many Celica-driving ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ fans ever knew that ‘Marty’ designed their car?” – Tim Considine, Disney Legend and actor.

David John Stollery III was born January 18, 1941, in Los Angeles, into a show-business family, his father having been a radio announcer, and his mother a radio star while living in Portland, Oregon. At age seven, Stollery began his acting career by landing a role in a touring production of Medea, and was later voted Child Actor of the Year for his role in the production On Borrowed Time, starring actor Victor Moore. He appeared in several films, beginning with an uncredited role in the 1949 film A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and getting his big boost as a feature actor in the 1951 film, Darling, How Could You! His Disney roles, however, gave him the most prominence as an actor.

Walt Disney saw Stollery perform on an episode of The Ray Milland Show, playing a young genius, and was convinced that the boy would be perfect for the role of Marty Markham in the upcoming Mickey Mouse Club serial, “The Adventures of Spin and Marty,” co-starring Tim Considine as Spin. The serial was very popular, and Stollery was quickly signed for two more “Spin and Marty” serials: “The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty” in 1956, and “The New Adventures of Spin and Marty” in 1957. Stollery also appeared in a serial starring Annette Funicello, simply titled “Annette,” in which he played the character Mike Martin. He also acted in two feature films for Disney: Westward Ho the Wagons! in 1956, and Ten Who Dared in 1960.

Stollery as Marty Markham in The Adventures of Spin and Marty.

Unlike most child actors, Stollery did not pursue acting as a fulltime career, instead opting to study design at the Art Center College of Design, and becoming an auto designer for General Motors. In 1973, he was hired by Toyota to manage the automotive design group, Calty Design Research, designing the second generation of the A40 Series Toyota Celica in 1978.

Stollery has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since his Disney days. His most recent on-screen appearance was a documentary in 2005 on the Walt Disney Treasures set, The Adventures of Spin and Marty, in which Stollery and co-star Tim Considine explore the property that was used as the set for the Triple R Ranch and share their memories of performing on the show. He was inducted into the Disney Legends at the October 9, 2006 ceremony.

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