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Diane Disney Miller
Born Diane Marie Disney
(1933-12-18)December 18, 1933
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died November 19, 2013(2013-11-19) (aged 79)
Napa, California, U.S.
Cause of death Complications from a fall
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Spouse(s) Ron W. Miller
(m. 1954–2013, her death)
Children Christopher D. Miller (b. 1954)
Joanna Miller (b. 1956)
Tamara Scheer (b. 1957)
Jennifer Miller-Goff (b. 1960)
Walter Elias Disney Miller (b. 1961)
Ronald Miller (b. 1963)
Patrick Miller (b. 1967)
Parent(s) Walt Disney (1901–1966)
Lillian Bounds Disney (1899–1997)

Diane Disney Miller (December 18, 1933 – November 19, 2013)[1] was the oldest and only biological child of Walt Disney and his wife Lillian Bounds Disney.[2]

The Disney legacy[edit]

Disney Miller began working on her father's legacy in the 1950s. She published a series of eight pieces for the Saturday Evening Post in 1956 titled "My Dad, Walt Disney", co-written with Pete Martin.[3] In 1957 she published the book The Story of Walt Disney.[4] After her husband was removed from his executive position at Walt Disney Productions in 1984, Disney Miller began to limit her involvement with the company.[5]

Disney Miller was instrumental in pushing ahead with the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. The project was initiated with a $50 million gift from her mother in 1988, but was stalled for a time due to cost negotiations. Disney Miller ensured the original design by Frank Gehry went ahead, and the hall finally opened in 2004.

Disney Miller was present at the Disneyland birthday celebration on July 17, 2005 where she read her father's original dedication of the theme park from fifty years prior. She was directly involved in organizing development of The Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio of San Francisco,[6] which opened in October 2009.

Personal life[edit]

When she was 20 years old, Disney and then-USC Trojans football player Ron Miller were introduced on a blind date. After a period of dating, the couple were married in a small church wedding on May 9, 1954. Their first child, Christopher, was born in December of the same year.

Five months after their wedding, Disney Miller's husband was drafted into the U.S. Army. Following his army service, Miller played a season as tight end with the Los Angeles Rams.[7]

In the early 1970s, the Millers purchased a vineyard in Napa Valley. Their intention was to upgrade the property, replant to premium varietals, install new trellising and frost protection, but not to build or run a winery. Disney Miller and her husband decided to construct their own winery in 1980. Beginning in 1981, they operated Silverado Vineyards Winery on a tract of their Napa property.

Diane Disney Miller died on November 19, 2013 at age 79 from medical complications that developed after a fall. She is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, where her father's ashes are also located.[8]

The film Saving Mr. Banks is dedicated to her memory (Disney Miller died shortly before it opened theatrically).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Colker, David (November 19, 2013). "Diane Disney Miller dies at 79; philanthropist championed Disney Hall". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Miller-dead-1200856548/ "Diane Disney Miller, Philanthropist and Daughter of Walt Disney, Dies at 79" Check |url= scheme (help). Variety. November 19, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ Disney, Walt; Jackson, Kathy Merlock (2006). Walt Disney: Conversations. UP of Mississippi. p. 25. ISBN 9781578067138. 
  4. ^ Mosley, Leonard (1990). Disney's World. Scarborough House. p. 15. ISBN 9781589796560. 
  5. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (20 November 2013). "Diane Disney Miller, 79, Keeper of Walt’s Flame, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Jackson, Kathy Merlock; West, Mark I. (2014). Walt Disney, from Reader to Storyteller: Essays on the Literary Inspirations. McFarland. p. 2. ISBN 9780786472321. 
  7. ^ "NFL Roster for Ron Miller". 
  8. ^ "Diane Disney Miller on Neal Gabler", Retrieved on August 29, 2007
  9. ^ Jay Weston (9 December 2013). "Tom Hanks IS Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks"!". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Disney_Miller — Please support Wikipedia.
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731 news items

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 05:32:16 -0700

Sherman is set to receive the newly created Diane Disney Miller Lifetime Achievement Award, intended to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of arts, education, community involvement or technological advancements.


Thu, 27 Aug 2015 00:10:57 -0700

Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt Disney, sits on one of the park benches from Griffith Park like the ones that her father used to sit on. Walt said he came up with the idea for Disneyland while sitting on the benches. This is one of the actual ...


Thu, 30 Jul 2015 01:06:34 -0700

Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt Disney, looks up at photos of her father, Walt Disney, at the Walt Disney Family Museum at the Presidio in San Francisco in 2011. FILE: MARK EADES, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ...


Wed, 23 Sep 2015 00:00:45 -0700

Colt spent more than two years on the Walt Disney documentary, even being introduced to Diane Disney Miller before her death. Colt recorded more than 50 hours of on-camera interviews and had full access to Disney Archives with head Disney Archivist ...


Fri, 17 Jul 2015 14:52:41 -0700

View slideshow. Ron Miller, widowed to Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney's daughter, has his photograph taken with Mickey Mouse during Disneyland's 60th birthday celebration Friday. MARK RIGHTMIRE, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER. BY JOSEPH PIMENTEL.


Mon, 14 Sep 2015 17:56:15 -0700

Director/producer Sarah Colt ("Henry Ford" and "RFK") met with Walt Disney's surviving daughter, Diane Disney Miller, who agree to an interview but unfortunately died in 2013 before it could be filmed. Miller was the oldest and only biological child of ...


New York Times
Wed, 20 Nov 2013 20:05:57 -0800

Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney's last surviving child, who stood up for Frank Gehry's spectacularly abstract design for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and co-founded a museum dedicated to the memory of her father as a human being rather ...

Hollywood Reporter

Huffington Post
Tue, 19 Nov 2013 17:17:34 -0800

LOS ANGELES, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Diane Disney Miller, philanthropist and daughter of cartoon and theme park pioneer Walt Disney, died on Tuesday in California. She was 79. Miller died in the northern California wine town of Napa from injuries sustained ...

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