Robert Downey Jr., Ming-Na Wen, and Hans Zimmer are among the 11 people this year who have been named legends. Disney Legends. A title bestowed upon the best and brightest stars at the Walt Disney Company, and their various subsidiaries like Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, Disney Legend is one of the coolest honors that an actor or creative could receive. See who is among the new 2019 Disney Legends below.
Disney announced the 11 individuals who will be inducted as a Disney Legend this year in an awards ceremony held at the upcoming D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. The new class of 2019 Disney Legends are Wing Chao, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Kenny Ortega, Barnette Ricci, Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer, Ming-Na Wen, and Hans Zimmer. They’ll be joining the 289 people who already hold the Disney Legends title, which honors those who made “remarkable contributions to the Disney legacy.”
“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor we can bestow; it’s a recognition of talent, a celebration of achievement, and an expression of profound gratitude to the remarkable men and women who have made an indelible mark on our company and our creative legacy,” said Bob Iger, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This year’s honorees have earned a place in our hearts and our history for their significant contributions in film, television, and our theme parks around the world.”
The honoring of Downey Jr. comes at a fitting time. The actor just wrapped up a decade-defining role as Tony Stark, a.k.a Iron Man, in Avengers: Endgame, which was as much a swan song to his character that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it was an end of an era. Giving Downey Jr. the title of Disney Legend just solidifies his legacy that is already being celebrated by fans. Iron Man director Jon Favreau deservedly joins his star in launching the MCU with a Disney Legend title himself.
Meanwhile, Ming-Na Wen gets her long-overdue Disney Legends title for her role as Mulan in the iconic 1998 animated film. Her new Disney Legend award feels a little late coming — most of the actresses who voiced Disney princesses in the ’90s were awarded Legend status years ago, but better late than never.
Other new inductees of note include Hans Zimmer, the Oscar-winning composer and veritable rock star who has a history with Disney stretching back to 1991’s White Fang, though he’s best known for his Oscar-winning score for The Lion King. Bette Midler also gets a Disney Legend title, presumably not only for her various Oscar, Tony, and Golden Globe-winning roles, but for her role most beloved by millennials raised on Disney: Winifred in Hocus Pocus. James Earl Jones, of Lion King and Star Wars fame, also makes the list.
D23 will be held in Anaheim, California on August 23-25, 2019.
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