It is with a very heavy heart that we have learned of the passing of Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney's Daughter. She had been suffering the complications of a recent fall.
Diane founded the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to preserve and protect her father's legacy. She was a strong and family focused woman who left Los Angeles to start a new life in Napa Valley, where she ran Silverado Winery with her husband (and former CEO of the Disney Company) Ron Miller.
Diane was beloved by many in the fan community for her protective stance on Walt Disney's legacy. There is no doubt that she was feared by executives at the Disney Company who might otherwise use her father's image as a character rather than as a symbol and standard of greatness and creativity. While there was a rift between Diane and the Disney Company resulting from Roy Disney's efforts to have her husband, Ron Miller, ousted as CEO of the Company, she was able (particularly in later years) to coexist with the company which bears her father's name.
Diane's passing is a tremendous blow to the hearts of those who loved her and were loved by her. Rest in peace Diane, may you be reunited with your parents once more.
The Walt Disney Family Museum has sent the following information:
Diane Disney Miller (1933Ė2013)
It is with deep sadness that The Walt Disney Family Museum must share that Diane Disney Miller has passed away. Diane died of complications from a fall.
Diane was the eldest daughter of Walt and Lillian Disney, wife to Ron Miller, mother of seven children, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and an inspiration to us all.
Words cannot begin to express our sadness at Dianeís death. She was an extraordinary philanthropist and enthusiastic supporter of the arts. Diane carried on her fatherís legacy with dignity, grace, and devotion.
While the family appreciates your thoughts and prayers, we kindly request that their privacy is respected at this time.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, donations may be made to the memorial fund that The Walt Disney Family Museum has created in honor of Diane Disney Miller. Donations will support the museum's ongoing education efforts, exhibitions, and programs. Donations and cards can also be sent to the family through The Walt Disney Family Museum, attn: Director's Office; 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129.
Services will be private and the museum has not yet planned a public commemoration of Diane, but a possible program or event may be scheduled in the future.
More information is available here.
Silverado Winery made the following statement on their Facebook page:
All of us at Silverado are deeply saddened by the loss of our Co-founder Diane Disney Miller. Diane passed away earlier today at home due to complications from a fall. Her tireless enthusiasm and energy inspired us all, and not a day goes by that we don't feel her special touch with things at the winery. She is greatly missed by us all, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Miller family during this time.
Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, has made the following statement about Diane's passing:
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Diane Disney Miller. She is remembered by Disney fans around the world as the beloved daughter of Walt Disney, and one who graciously shared her family history and personal memories of her father.
Diane was a fierce guardian of her fatherís legacy who never hesitated to set the record straight, opening The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to bring her fatherís fascinating story to life. In our many conversations over the years, Dianeís unique and special perspective about her father only deepened my considerable appreciation for him. Diane was incredibly generous in that regard, freely sharing her personal insights and providing details that deepened our knowledge, and we remain grateful for her many valuable contributions to our efforts to preserve Disney history. She and her sister, Sharon, have long been recognized as Waltís inspiration for Disneyland, a place he created for families to have fun together. For that reason and many others, Diane will always have a special place in our companyís legacy and in the hearts of fans.
She was also known for her philanthropic efforts, including playing an integral role in the development of the renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to ensure the creation of a unique venue bearing her fatherís name that she believed would be ďa wonderful thing for the city, for the spirit, for the soul.Ē
Diane was the wife of former Disney CEO Ron Miller, as well as mother to their seven children, Christopher, Joanna, Tamara, Jennifer, Walter, Ronald and Patrick. She also had 13 grandchildren and had the great joy of recently welcoming her first great-grandchild into the world. We send our sincere condolences to the entire family and our thoughts remain with them during this difficult time.