Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar, best known for bringing the company's theme parks to life, died Thursday. He was 83.
“Everything about Marty was legendary – his achievements, his spirit, his career,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “He embodied the very best of Disney, from his bold originality to his joyful optimism and relentless drive for excellence. He was also a powerful connection to Walt himself. No one was more passionate about Disney than Marty and we’ll miss his enthusiasm, his grace, and his indomitable spirit.”
Sklar, who was named a Disney Legend in 2001, was first hired by Disney in 1955 to create The Disneyland News for Walt's newest theme park. He joined the company full-time just the next year and found himself locking in step with Walt himself. Sklar would go one to write speeches, marketing materials and creating a film that showcased Walt's vision for Walt Disney World and Epcot.
His career encompassed three decades as the creative leader of Imagineering and he led development of Disney theme parks and attractions, according to the Disney Parks Blog.
Legendary Disney Imagineer Martin A. “Marty” Sklar passed away in his Hollywood Hills home on Thursday. He was 83. During an illustrious career spanning 54 years, Marty worked closely with Walt Disney and was instrumental in creating, enhancing and expanding Disney’s creative vision. Named a Disney Legend in 2001, he is best remembered and revered by fans around the world for his work bringing Disney’s theme parks to life.
“Marty was the ultimate Disney Imagineer and Cast Member. From his days working as an intern with Walt to just two weeks ago engaging with fans at D23 Expo, Marty left an indelible mark on Disney Parks around the globe and on all of the guests who make memories every day with us,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “He was one of the few people that was fortunate to attend the opening of every single Disney park in the world, from Anaheim in 1955 to Shanghai just last year. We will dearly miss Marty’s passion, skill and imaginative spark that inspired generations of Cast, Crew and Imagineers.”
According to the Disney Parks Blog, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Marty’s name to Ryman Arts at www.rymanarts.org.
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