Diane Disney Miller

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Diane Disney Miller
Diane Disney (Schiphol, 1951)
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.
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Spouse(s) Ron W. Miller
(m. 1954)
Children 7
Parent(s) Walt Disney
Lillian Bounds Disney

Diane Marie 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]

Disney legacy[edit]

Disney family (1951)

Miller 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, Miller began to limit her involvement with the company.[5]

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. Miller ensured the original design by Frank Gehry went ahead, and the hall finally opened in 2004.

Miller was present at the Disneyland 50th birthday celebration on July 17, 2005, where she read her father's original dedication of the theme park from 50 years prior[citation needed]. 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. The couple would go on to have six more children: Joanna (b. 1956), Tamara (later Scheer; b. 1957), Jennifer (later Miller-Goff; b. 1960), Walter Elias Disney Miller (b. 1961), Ronald (b. 1963), and Patrick (b. 1967).

Five months after their wedding, 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.[8] Their intention was to upgrade the property, replant premium varietals, install new trellising and frost protection, but not to build or run a winery.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[9]

The film Saving Mr. Banks is dedicated to her memory (Disney Miller died shortly before it opened theatrically).[10]

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. ^ Staff, Variety (November 19, 2013). "Diane Disney Miller, Philanthropist and Daughter of Walt Disney, Dies at 79". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  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. ^ "Silverado Vineyards". www.silveradovineyards.com. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  9. ^ "Diane Disney Miller on Neal Gabler", Retrieved on August 29, 2007
  10. ^ Jay Weston (9 December 2013). "Tom Hanks IS Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks"!". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 

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