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Disney Legend Marty Sklar dies at 83

28 Juillet 2017

Marty Sklar, a Disney imagineer who supervised the design and construction of Disney theme parks in Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong as well as Disney's Animal Kingdom, California Adventure, and the Walt Disney Studios Park, died Thursday, Disney announced.

Sklar penned several books about his lifetime at Disney, including "Dream It!"

With career spanning over 54 years, Sklar worked closely with Disney founder Walt Disney, helping him to shape and realize his creative vision and was integral to the development of Disney's theme parks.

"Everything about Marty was legendary - his achievements, his spirit, his career", Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

He supervised the design and construction of huge projects like Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris and was one of the few people at Disney to have attended the opening of all of the company's parks including Shanghai Disneyland past year.

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Sklar spent more than a half-century working for Walt Disney Co. "He embodied the very best of Disney, from his bold originality to his joyful optimism and relentless drive for excellence". Solar was on hand just two weeks ago at Disneyland, greeting fans at the company's the biennial D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif. "No one was more passionate about Disney than Marty and we'll miss his enthusiasm, his grace, and his indomitable spirit". Sklar shared stories of his Disney past along with fellow Imagineer Tony Baxter, and there was so much learned by all those who were fortunate enough to sit in on the presentation. Sklar was named a Disney Legend in 2001.

Whenever anyone looks at any of the theme parks, entertainment shows, Disney Cruise Line ships, and Disney resort hotels, they will see the influence of Marty Sklar. Disney marked the occasion by paying tribute to Marty with the highest Parks and Resorts recognition, dedicating a window in his name on Disneyland's City Hall. A UCLA journalism student hired by Walt to write the Main Street newspaper for Disneyland, Marty worked his way into Walt's inner circle, becoming his speechwriter and eventually the head of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Smart, sharp, witty, and ever loyal to Disney, Marty was an annual guest on Bob Rogers' "Legends" panel at the IAAPA Attractions Expo, sharing his well-earned experience and insight with theme park professionals from around the world.

Marty is survived by his wife, Leah, their son Howard, their daughter Leslie, and their grandchildren.