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Encyclopedia > Ron W. Miller

Ronald William Miller is a former professional football player and a former top Disney executive. Alternate meanings: Disney (disambiguation) The Walt Disney Company (also known as Disney Enterprises, Inc. ...

He became president of Walt Disney Productions in 1976 and CEO in 1982. Under his leadership, Disney became the target of corporate raiders and takeover attempts, and many influential shareholders criticized Miller's leadership. In 1984, fellow Disney family member Roy E. Disney, his financial majordomo Stanley Gold, and shareholder Sid Bass ousted Miller in favor of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. Walt Disney Productions is the former name of The Walt Disney Company, which it held from 1929 to 1986. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... A chief executive officer (CEO) or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or executive officer of a corporation, company, or agency. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) is a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Roy Edward Disney (born January 10, 1930) is the son of Roy Oliver Disney and the former Edna Francis. ... Stanley Gold is the President and CEO of Shamrock Holdings, which manages Roy E. Disneys investments. ... Sid Bass (1943-). His father, Perry Bass, built on oil fortune inherited from uncle Sid Richardson (d. ... Michael Eisner Michael Dammann Eisner (born March 7, 1942) ran the The Walt Disney Company from 1984 to 2005. ... Frank Wells was president and chief operating officer (COO) of the Walt Disney Company from 1984 until his death on April 3, 1994. ...

It was fashionable to blame Ron Miller for "ruining" the company and "losing the vision" of his father-in-law, Walt Disney. Frank Wells and Michael Eisner were hailed as saviors who had come to rescue Disney from the hands of this "ex-football player" who had "brought Disney to the brink of destruction." In truth, Miller was doing quite well at re-imagining Disney's vision by bringing in new talent and attempting to break the mold of simply repeating past Disney successes, by taking a chance on previously unexplored concepts.

Just one month before he left the Disney Company in 1984, Miller said, “I think my greatest responsibility is to challenge the creative people in this organization to come up with new things we’ve never even considered. I hope that in 1990 we will be doing something that people never thought Disney could do. This company’s going forward. And I’m very proud and pleased to be part of it.”

Miller is perhaps best known for creating the Touchstone label, which allowed Disney to produce and release adult-oriented films without harming the family-friendly reputation of the Disney name. (It's first film was "Splash," starring Tom Hanks.) He was also responsible for establishing The Disney Channel, Epcot Center, Tokyo Disneyland, funding the films of young Tim Burton ("Vincent" and "Frankenweenie"), acquiring the film rights and putting into development the "Roger Rabbit" project, initiating Disney’s first attempts at computer animation, and funding Disney's first Broadway show ("Total Abandon" with Richard Dreyfuss, 1983), all of which established foundations for future success for the Disney Company. A touchstone is a small tablet of dark stone such as fieldstone or slate, used for probing of precious metal alloys. ... Tom Hanks in February 2004 Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actor famous for playing notable roles in many popular and critically acclaimed movies. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Dreyfuss as he appeared in the mid-1970s Richard Stephan Dreyfuss (born October 29, 1947) is an Oscar winning American actor. ...

Walt Disney’s twenty year old daughter, Diane, met Ron Miller on a blind date. Miller, who played football for the University of Southern California, began dating Diane. Both Walt and his wife Lillian approved of the young man, and Ron and Diane married in a small church ceremony in Santa Barbara on May 9, 1954. (The wedding cake had Diane in Levi jeans and Ron in Bermuda shorts and bare feet, but wearing a football helmet.) Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966), was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, and animator. ... The family of Elias Disney (son of Kepple Disney and Mary Richardson): Elias Disney was born on February 6, 1859 in Ontario, Canada and died on September 13, 1941 Elias married Flora Call on January 1, 1888 in Acron, Florida and had 4 sons and 1 daughter Herbert Arthur Disney... The University of Southern California (also known as USC, SC, and Southern California), Californias oldest private research university, is located in the urban center of Los Angeles, California. ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

In October, Ron was drafted into the Army. During their first six years of marriage, Ron and Diane had four children. After his Army service, Ron played a season as tight offensive end with the Los Angeles Rams professional football team.

“My father-in-law saw me play in two football games when I was with the Los Angeles Rams. In one of them, I caught a pass and Dick ‘Night Train’ Lane let me have it from the rear. His forearm came across my nose and knocked me unconscious. I woke up in about the third quarter. At the end of the season, Walt came up to me and said, ‘You know, I don’t want to be the father to your children. You’re going to die out there. How about coming to work with me?’ I did and it was a wise decision on my part. I’m really very proud of having been a professional athlete. I think it teaches you to be competitive, to accept challenges and to see things through. I realize the image some people have of jocks, but I think that certainly has changed over the years,” Miller told entertainment reporter Dale Pollock in August 1984. The St. ...

However, the fact that Miller never finished school and played football became fodder for his critics to label him a “dumb jock” who lucked into marrying into an entertainment empire.

Walt’s sponsored his son-in-law and got him into the Screen Director’s Guild and Ron worked as a second assistant on “Old Yeller” (1957). (Miller had worked for the at Walt Disney Productions for a few months in 1954 as a liaison between WED Enterprises (Disney's theme park design group) and Disneyland before being drafted.) He soon rose up the ranks to a variety of producer positions and also directed some of Walt’s lead-ins for the popular weekly Disney television show. 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Walt Disney Productions is the former name of The Walt Disney Company, which it held from 1929 to 1986. ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Disneyland is a theme park at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, USA. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. ...

In 1958, Clint Walker walked out of the popular Warner Bros. television Western, "Cheyenne” for a variety of reasons. Bill Orr, who was Jack Warner’s son-in-law, called in Ron Miller to audition as Walker’s replacement, and was impressed enough to schedule a screen test. Walt Disney stepped in and told Ron to forget acting, that Disney was grooming him for the position of producer. Walker resolved his differences with Warner Bros. and returned to the show in 1959. Miller never did any more acting. 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Norman Eugene Clint Walker (born May 30, 1927 in Hartford, Illinois) is an American actor best known for his cowboy role as Cheyenne Bodie in the TV Western series, Cheyenne. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Miller spent his time in the film division and his co-producer credits appear on such Disney classics as “Son of Flubber,” “Summer Magic,” and “That Darn Cat!” His first movie with full producer credit was "Never a Dull Moment" (1968).

“It was obviously a great atmosphere when Walt was alive. If Walt liked something, we knew damn well it had to be good; it had to be successful. Obviously, things are not the same without him. Walt was a great leader, and in his own way, a genius. For that one genius it has taken fifty geniuses to fill his void,” said Miller.

Miller continued to get producing credits on films like “Tron,” “Pete’s Dragon,” and “Escape to Witch Mountain”.

In 1976 Lillian Disney, widow of Walt Disney, with Diane and Ron, purchased two vineyards in the Napa Valley. Their intention was to upgrade the property, replant to premium varietals, install new trellising and frost protection, but not to build or run a winery. Their vineyards were clearly exceptional, producing top-quality fruit and award-winning wines year after year…for other wineries. So construction of the Silverado winery began in 1980. Architect Dick Keith designed the old California mission-style structure, which is often mistaken for an actual restoration.

During the last twenty years, Miller has never again set foot on Disney property, has spent most of his time building the reputation of his Silverado Winery, and has only spoken publicly about his time at Disney for projects done by his wife, Diane, about her father, Walt.

Preceded by:
E. Cardon Walker
Disney CEOs
Succeeded by:
Michael Eisner



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