Los Angeles -- There was a time, she recalled, when abandoning her fabled family name and all that went with it seemed the only way she would ever find herself. So when she planned her wedding 17 years ago, she thought of taking her husband's name as a leap of liberation. But the more she thought about it, the more she hesitated.
"That was when I finally had to admit to myself it was more good than bad, " said Abby Disney, 45. "It was so strong because I ran like hell from my name for a long time. Little by little, I had to get OK with it."
It may have been a shaky step on her path to self-discovery, but the grandniece of Walt Disney and granddaughter of the entertainment company's other founder, Walt's brother Roy O. Disney, has increasingly been embracing her birthright since that time.
After long feeling that her powerful name was a burden, almost an embarrassment, Abby Disney has become a leader of a new Disney generation and appears determined to get involved again in the Walt Disney Co., from which her father, Roy E. Disney, resigned a little more than a year ago in an acrimonious dispute over how Michael Eisner was running the media conglomerate.