D23 2017: Carrie Fisher Amongst The Ten New Disney Legends During D23 Expo

Credit: ABC/Disney

Disney kicked off its bi-annual D23 Expo this weekend on a serious and slightly emotional note as it continued its tradition of giving thanks to those who have left their mark on the World of Disney.

Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Julie Taymor, and other remarkable contributors to the Disney legacy were honored as official Disney Legends during D23 Expo 2017. The Disney Legends Award ceremony was held on Friday, July 14, in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center, and was hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. 

The 2017 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are: Carrie Fisher (Film), Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi (Animation), Whoopi Goldberg (Film & Television), Manuel Gonzales (Publishing), Mark Hamill (Film), Wayne Jackson (Imagineering), Jack Kirby (Publishing), Stan Lee (Film & Publishing), Garry Marshall (Film & Television), Julie Taymor (Theatrical) and Oprah Winfrey (Film & Television).

This year’s ceremony was definitely one filled with tons of emotion, especially when it was announced that the late Carrie Fisher was amongst those being honored as a Disney Legend for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the Star Wars film franchise. Fisher’s daughter, 24-year-old actress Billie Lourd, contributed to the ceremony by writing an emotional acceptance speech on behalf of her mother, who passed away suddenly in December.

“As far back as I can remember, my mom and I have been Disney fanatics,” Lourd wrote. “I was so obsessed with Ariel that I wanted to change my name. We went to Disneyland so much that I now realize she might have even loved it more than I did. Becoming part of the Disney family was truly an amazing moment for her. She secretly always wanted to be a Disney princess, so getting to be a Disney princess and a Disney legend would have been her ultimate dream.

“I wish I could be there to accept this award on her behalf, but unfortunately, I am currently working on American Horror Story. I am beyond grateful to Mr. Iger and everyone at Disney for this incredible honor. Thank you again, and may the force be with you always.”

A video tribute featuring scenes from Carrie’s many roles was also shown.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Disney Legends Awards. The first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987.

Erika Rivera
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Erika Rivera

Erika Rivera is the Editor In Chief of 4 Your Excitement. In addition to 4YE, she worked at PopWrapped as a Senior Editor. Erika has been nurturing her passion for the written word for years, having works published while still in high school, fueling her love for writing. She currently has a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Greensboro and works in the school systems as Before and Afterschool Assistant, with her expertise being in the arts and crafts area. You can find her on twitter with her daily musings on everything Pop Culture. Some of her favorite topics to cover include Tom Hiddleston and Orphan Black.
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