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Walt Disney's Eldest Daughter Diane Disney Miller Did Her Best to Keep Her Father's Legacy Alive before Her Death at 79

Rebelander Basilan
Dec 08, 2019
12:30 P.M.
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Diane Disney Miller made sure that people will remember her legendary father, Walt Disney, more as a human being than a brand.

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Prior to her death, Diane co-founded a museum dedicated to the memory of her father and emphasizing his humanity, as reported by The New York Times.

Through her effort, the Walt Disney Family Foundation contributed additional funding to keep Gehry in control of the project.

Diane Disney-Miller at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 23, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Diane Disney-Miller at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 23, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

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Diane – who will be remembered, among others, for defending Frank Gehry's abstract design for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles – passed away in November 2013 at the age of 79 due to injuries sustained in a fall.

She was survived by her husband, her seven children, thirteen grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

Walt Disney at his desk in 1945. | Photo: Getty Images

Walt Disney at his desk in 1945. | Photo: Getty Images

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KEEPING HER FATHER'S LEGACY ALIVE

Diane kept her iconic father's legacy alive through Disney Hall and the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

Her husband, Ronald W. Miller, used to be the chief executive of Walt Disney Productions. When he was removed from that post in 1984, Diane also mostly kept herself out of the Disney business empire.

Walt Disney at his desk in 1945. | Photo: Getty Images

Walt Disney at his desk in 1945. | Photo: Getty Images

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At the time of her death, Diane was president of the board of the Walt Disney Family Foundation, which seeks to ensure that her father, and not just his company, is remembered.

She made headlines in the early 2000s for standing up for architect Frank Gehry during the problem-ridden construction of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Walt Disney having a meal at a restaurant in 1951. | Photo: Getty Images

Walt Disney having a meal at a restaurant in 1951. | Photo: Getty Images

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Through her effort, the Walt Disney Family Foundation contributed additional funding to keep Gehry in control of the project.

"We promised Los Angeles a Frank Gehry building," Diane had said. "I would feel ashamed and embarrassed to shortchange the city."

Walt Disney with wife and Micky Mouse during a visit in New York, circa 1935. | Photo: Getty Images

Walt Disney with wife and Micky Mouse during a visit in New York, circa 1935. | Photo: Getty Images

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DISNEY'S WIDOW DIED BEFORE HALL'S COMPLETION

The hall opened in 2003 at the cost of about $274 million, 15 years after Diane's mother, Lillian, announced the plan to construct the concert hall.

As she passed away in 1997, Lillian never got to hear a concert in the hall she envisioned. The Walt Disney Company is one of the biggest mass media and entertainment conglomerate around the world.

Mickey Mouse, Robert Iger, Diane Disney Miller, Michael Eisner, and Minnie Mouse at Disneyland on July 17, 2005 in Anaheim, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Mickey Mouse, Robert Iger, Diane Disney Miller, Michael Eisner, and Minnie Mouse at Disneyland on July 17, 2005 in Anaheim, California. | Photo: Getty Images

It is known for several box-office hit movies. A Disney film series that recently grabbed headlines is the "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Fans of "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise were surprised when the news broke that the series plans to remove their main character in the new installment – Johnny Depp, who stars as the principal character Jack Sparrow in the film.

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