Roy Disney, Walt Disney’s nephew who led two major shareholder revolts that shaped the modern profile of the studio, has died in Newport Beach, California, following a long battle with stomach cancer. He was 79.
Disney, whose father Roy O Disney co-founded the studio with Walt Disney, joined the family business in the 1950s as a film-maker.
It was to become a lifelong passion and in 2004 he earned an Academy Award nomination for the animated short Destino, which he co-produced with Dominique Monfery.
Disney earned his fortune by using his Disney stock to develop a global investment portfolio. He co-founded Shamrock Holdings and his concerns stretched from California to Israel.
Disney channelled his passion for doing things the right way into his role as a major Disney shareholder who wielded immense influence and revived the studio’s animation business.
He led a shareholder revolt in 1984 that installed Michael Eisner in charge of the studio alongside Frank Wells. Nearly two decades later he sparked a second revolt that would lead to the ousting of Eisner in 2005.