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Tag Archives: Women

November 16

November 16, 2003 – Toni Braxton Holds Final Performance in Aida

“So, I was taking a little bit of a risk, but I came here to New York and I say [Aida] and I was like: ‘Oh, God! It’s so beautiful! I’m so glad I said yes!’” – Toni Braxton

On November 16, 2003, R&B singer and songwriter Toni Braxton gave her final performance as the titular character in the Broadway musical Aida. This was the second time Braxton took the lead role in a Disney musical, with the first being a stint as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Her engagement in the show began on June 30, and she was replaced by Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams.

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October 16

October 16, 1998 – Twenty-One New Inductees Are Named Disney Legends

“That’s a whole lot of legends!”

On October 16, 1998, twenty-one new Disney Legends were honored in a special ceremony at the new Disney Legends Plaza at the Walt Disney Studios. The plaza was also dedicated on this day, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. The honorees were an eclectic mix of those individuals who had a lasting impact on the history and success of the Walt Disney Company, and ranged from actors to executives. Among those honored were Disney Company managing director for England and Europe, Cyril James; company treasurer, Don Escen; former chairman of the Oriental Land Company, Masatomo Takahashi; film editor, Lloyd Richardson; first Alice actress, Virginia Davis; animator Bill Tytla; animator and director Wilfred Jackson; actress Kathryn Beaumont; animator and director Ben Sharpsteen; director, writer, producer, and narrator Jim Algar; merchandising executive Kay Kamen; former president of Walt Disney Enterprises of Japan, Matsuo Yokoyama; documentary film makers Al and Elma Milotte; actress Gynis Johns; actress Hayley Mills; actor Kurt Russell; documentary film maker Paul Kenworthy; director and producer Larry Lansburgh; composer Buddy Baker; film editor Norman “Stormy” Palmer; and actor Dick Van Dyke. Of those honored, James, Tytla, Jackson, Sharpsteen, Algar, Kamen, and the Milottes were honored posthumously.

September 2

September 2, 1919 – Actress, Dancer, and Disney Legend Marge Champion is Born

“The atmosphere was like a giant high school or college, as far as I was concerned. Mr. Disney, for me, was like a very friendly head principal.”

On September 2, 1919, Marge Champion, born as Marjorie Celeste Belcher, was born in Los Angeles, California. Champion had a talent for dancing at an early age, and trained under her father, Ernest Belcher, who was a noted ballet coach that taught the likes of Cyd Charisse and Shirley Temple. At the age of twelve, Champion was a ballet teacher in her own right at her father’s studio. Around 1933, a talent scout came to the dance studio, and asked her to audition for what would become Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Champion was chosen to be the live-action reference model for the titular character. Champion would continue to be a live-action model for Disney animated features, including modeling the characters of the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio and Hyacinth Hippo from Fantasia. While working at Disney, she met animator Art Babbitt and married him in 1937, though they divorced in 1940. Champion was also an actress in films outside the studio, appearing in films such as Honor of the West and Show Boat, the latter of which she appeared with her husband Gower Champion, whom she married in 1947. Along with film appearances, the pair also choreographed a few Broadway musical reviews, including Lend an Ear. She and Gower Champion divorced in 1973; Champion continued her career, working with actress Marilee Zdenek to publish two books: Catch the New Wind and God is a Verb. Champion is a Trustee Emeritus of the Williamstown Theater Festival of Massachusetts, as well as a member of the Advisory Board if the Berkshire Theatre Festival. For her work in helping to bring the classic Disney characters to life, she was honored as a Disney Legend in 2007.

May 1

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May 1, 2007 – Susan E. Arnold Joins Disney Board of Directors

“Her distinguished ability and track-record in strategy development, innovation and brand building will be great assets to the Disney board.” – Disney Chairman John E. Pepper

On May 1, 2007, the Walt Disney Company announced that Susan E. Arnold had been elected to the company’s board of directors. In 2004, Arnold was the first woman to be named a vice chairman at Procter & Gamble, and went on to lead P&G Beauty and Health. She then held the office of President – Global Business Units of P&G, which she left in 2009. Arnold has also held the position of the director of the McDonalds Corporation from 2008 to 2016, and was a director of NBTY, Inc. since 2013, along with being an operating executive of The Carlyle Group.

October 29

October 29, 2005 – Laura Michelle Kelly Plays Final Performance as Mary Poppins

“After [performing in Mary Poppins] for two years in London, I just needed a break.”

On October 29, 2005, after 400 performances, actress Laura Michelle Kelly played her final performance as the titular character in the West End musical Mary Poppins. It was announced that the role would then be portrayed by Scarlet Strallen; Kelly traveled to Singapore to star in a production of A Twist of Fate. Kelly would return to the role of Mary Poppins in October, 2009, this time at the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway.

March 2

March 2, 2007 – Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven Wins at the NAACP Image Awards

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“I try to save the situation but then I wind up misbehaving

On March 2, 2007, the 38th Annual NAACP Image Awards were held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The Disney Channel Series That’s So Raven won two awards: Outstanding Children’s Program, and Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program – Series or Special for lead actress Raven-Symoné . This was the series first win as Outstanding Children’s Program, and Raven- Symoné’s fourth win in her category. The series would go on to win the same awards the following year in the show’s final season.

February 8

February 8, 1965 – Julie Andrews Wins Golden Globe for Mary Poppins Performance

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“Finally, my thanks to a man who made a wonderful movie, and who made all this possible in the first place: Mr. Jack Warner.”

On February 8, 1965, the 22nd Golden Globes were held. The talk of the night was the race between Warner Brothers’ My Fair Lady and Walt Disney Pictures’ Mary Poppins, particularly because of Julie Andrews, as she had originated the lead of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady on Broadway, but was not cast in Mary Poppins as Jack Warner believed Andrews lacked the name recognition that Audrey Hepburn had. Julie Andrews would, that night, win the Golden Globe for her performance as the titular character in Disney’s film, thanking Jack Warner in a tongue-in-cheek manner as she accepted her award. Of the four Golden Globe nominations Mary Poppins received, Andrews’ award was the only one that the film won.