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Tag Archives: Women

July 11

July 11, 2008 – Lea Salonga Performs at Disney Concert Hall

“Best known for originating the role of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon, Lea Salonga is also a bona fide ‘Disney Princess.’”

On July 11, 2008, singer, actress, and Disney Legend Lea Salonga performed a solo concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. Salonga, an acclaimed veteran of the Broadway stage, performed as a singer in Disney animated feature films Mulan and Aladdin; she performed these songs, along with a variety of songs from her Broadway performances and Tagalog favorites, during this concert. This one-night-only concert, much like her debut at Carnegie Hall, was a sold-out show.

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June 7

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June 7, 2005 – The Compilation Album Disney Girlz Rock is Released Through Walt Disney Records

“Together we can shoot the moon, stop the rain, even ride a hurricane.”

On June 7, 2005, the compilation album Disney Girlz Rock was released through Walt Disney Records. It featured a variety of songs by female Disney artists, or female artists featured in Disney projects, including A*Teens, Lindsay Lohan, Raven-Symoné, The Cheetah Girls, Hilary and Haylie Duff, Caleigh Peters, Everlife, Aly & AJ, The Beu Sisters, Hayden Panettiere, Christy Carlson Romano, Christina Aguilera, and Myra. A second compilation was released in 2008.

May 18

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May 18, 1910 – Artist, Imagineer, and Disney Legend Dorothea Redmond is Born

“A Dorothea Redmond watercolor painting is a wonder to behold.” – Stacia Martin, Disney artist and historian

On May 18, 1910, artist Dorothea Holt Redmond was born in Los Angeles, California, and would receive her degree in interior design from the USC School of Architecture. Afterwards, she attended the Art Center College and got a degree in illustration. In 1938, she was hired by Selznick International Pictures, contributing her skills to such films as The Young in Heart and Gone With the Wind, and was considered one of the most talented illustrators in the business. She left to work at an architectural firm, and in 1964, she joined WED Enterprises (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering). Her first project was to transform Disneyland’s Red Wagon Inn to the more upscale Plaza Inn, which would go on to become Walt’s favorite place to bring guests. Her other big project was to create the interior paintings for the Royal Suite, which was a hideaway for the Disney family (its location, above the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, is now known as the Dream Suite). Redmond did a multitude of work for Walt Disney World, working prolifically on Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Main Street. Her most well-known work is for the murals covering the passage through Cinderella’s Castle, which were replicated in Tokyo Disneyland almost ten years later. After ten years at Disney, Redmond retired. She was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2008. She passed away on February 27, 2009.

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.

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.