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Diane Disney Miller dies at 79

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Published: November 19, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney's oldest child, died today at age 79.

Diane Disney Miller
Diane Disney Miller, with the statue honoring her father and his most famous character, in Disney California Adventure. Photo courtesy Disney.

Diane also was the wife of Ron Miller, who served as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in the early 1980s, until he was replaced by Michael Eisner in 1984, as part of a company defense against hostile takeover attempts.

Diane Disney was born Dec. 18, 1933 and died at her home in Napa, Calif., reportedly of complications from a fall earlier this year. Walt and Lillian Disney also adopted a daughter, Sharon Mae Disney, who died in 1993.

Disney lore says that Walt was inspired, in part, to build Disneyland by watching Diane and Sharon ride the Griffith Park carousel in Los Angeles. The lobby of the Main Street Opera House in Disneyland includes the Griffith Park bench on which Walt would sit when he watched his daughters. Diane later led efforts to build the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, as well as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Diane Disney Miller is survived by her husband, seven children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on November 19, 2013 at 6:39 PM
My parents visited Silverado this past summer and reported it was beautiful. Much sympathy and best wishes to Mr. Miller and the Disney family.
From 198.181.11.137 on November 20, 2013 at 8:54 AM
Condolences to the Disney-Miller Family. Diane was a class act all around and did a lot to preserve a true and accurate legacy for her Dad.
From Brian Emery on November 20, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Very sad to hear. Just imagine all of the memories now lost of the great Mr. Walt Disney.
RIP.

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