October 12, 1911 – Producer, Member of Board of Directors, and Disney Legend Bill Anderson is Born
“Family entertainment should be fun; life is melodramatic enough.”
On October 12, 1911, William Hillyard Anderson was born in Smithfield, Utah. Originally wanting to be an actor, Anderson moved to Los Angeles in 1929, scoring minor radio roles while working as a regional sales manager at a subsidiary of Ford. However, with the scarcity of casting calls, he went to study pre-law at Compton Junior College and the University of Southern California while working at Firestone Rubber Company. In 1943, as studios were committed to the war effort, Anderson was hired by the Disney Studios in the production control department. He was soon chosen to oversee the reorganization of the ink and paint department, which then led into a job as the assistant to the Studio’s production manager. Anderson was then named the Studio’s production manager in 1951, and in 1956, he became the Vice President of Studio Operations. Anderson’s projects were numerous, including being the associate producer of such well-beloved classics as Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Apple Dumpling Gang. His producer projects in television included Zorro and The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. He was named to the Board of Directors in 1960, and in 1966, after Walt Disney passed away, Anderson served on the board of Disney Studio producers who helped keep the studio afloat. Anderson retired in 1984, and in 1997, he passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage. In 2004, he was honored as a Disney Legend for his work in Disney production.