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2011 Disney Legends Awards Honorees at D23 Expo to include Regis Philbin, Jim Henson, Disney Princess voices

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Events, Movies, Music, Theme Parks

For the second time, the 2011 D23 Expo will present the Disney Legends Awards ceremony publicly to Disney fans, honoring important figures in Disney history. This year’s inductees will appear during the ceremony on the first day of the D23 Expo, hosted by Tom Bergeron (host of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos) at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 19, in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena and will include a talk show host, speaking and singing voices of Disney Princesses, and many other actors and Disney dignitaries.

The 2011 Disney Legends Award honorees are:

REGIS PHILBIN is an Emmy Award-winning, cultural icon who has entertained millions of people through talk shows, game shows, books and albums for more than 50 years. For the past 23 years, Americans have woken up to Philbin, thanks to the nationally syndicated hit talk show LIVE! with Regis and Kelly which originated in 1983 when Philbin created The Morning Show for WABC in New York. In addition to his daytime success, Philbin launched ABC’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire into a primetime powerhouse and hosted a variety of shows including NBC’s America’s Got Talent, CBS’ Million Dollar Password, and the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

JIM HENSON, an Emmy Award-winning television producer and Oscar-nominated film director, was an American puppeteer and the creator of global phenomenon, The Muppets. The cross-cultural appeal of The Muppets propelled television shows like Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock to new heights. The success of these series led Henson to explore feature films including The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan, as well as the technologically ground-breaking fantasy classics The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. The Muppet legacy continued with popular Disney films such as The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, as well as the upcoming The Muppets, premiering this November.

JODI BENSON is an acclaimed voice actress and soprano singer who provided both the singing and speaking voices for Disney’s Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid and its sequels. For more than 20 years, Benson has voiced Ariel in film, television, video games, toys and at Disney Parks. She also starred as Sam in Disney’s Enchanted and voiced Barbie in the hit Disney/Pixar films Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, plus Weebo in the film comedy Flubber.

PAIGE O’HARA is a Broadway actress and singer best known for providing the voice of Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, its sequels, series and games. She also starred as Angela in the Disney film hit Enchanted. O’Hara has also been vocally featured in the Disney video game Kingdom Hearts and as Belle on the 64th Annual Academy Awards.

LINDA LARKIN is a celebrated actress and popular voice performer best known for providing the voice of Princess Jasmine in the Disney animated feature Aladdin, its sequels, spin-offs and television specials. She has also been vocally featured in the Disney animated television series House of Mouse and the popular Kingdom Hearts video game.

ANIKA NONI ROSE is a renowned actress and singer who provided the voice of Princess Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. In addition, some of her Broadway, television and film credits include her Tony Award-winning performance in Caroline, or Change, the blockbuster feature film Dreamgirls, and television series including The Starter Wife and The Good Wife.

LEA SALONGA is a celebrated actress and singer who provided the singing voice for two Disney Princesses: Jasmine in Aladdin, and Fa Mulan in Mulan and Mulan II. In addition to her recording and television career, Salonga’s vast Broadway credits are highlighted by her performance as Kim in Miss Saigon which garnered her numerous awards including a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle and Theater World Awards.


  1. Joel

    Hi Rick
    are you going to the D23 Expo? I’m so happy to see that Jodi Benson will becoming a Disney Legend she is amazing!

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Yes, I’ll definitely be there!

  2. Ahhh! Finally Lea Salonga is a Disney Legend!!!!

  3. I am so happy Jim Hensen is becoming a legend. I was looking him up last night and found out that he almost sold his company to Disney before his death. I’m unsure about Anika Noni Rose although she was teriffic in Princess and the Frog, but I’m not sure that she has done enough work in the company to get this award. I think it’s just a little premature. She has though, given more than Jack and Bonita Wrather IMO.

    1. EricJ

      Oh, sure, NOW Jim Henson is a “Disney Legend”, with their panic over the movie coming out…Remember it wasn’t that way back in the 90’s. Unless they’re honoring him for “Dinosaurs”.
      (Still remember Skipper Ben’s story about a bit of bad timing with Muppetvision 3-D still on special loan from Brian Henson–Sorry, Ben made us all promise we’d never talk about it.) 😉

      And Guy Williams is more of a Disney Legend than even Kermit will ever be.
      I’ve seen Antonio Banderas, and I’ve seen Tyrone Power, and Williams WAS the soul of Zorro.

  4. No Imagineers this year.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      I fear that the longer the Disney Legends Awards ceremony is public, the more it will become a marketing tool to drive D23 Expo ticket sales. Celebrities will always do that better than Imagineers, even with a crowd of Disney fans.

  5. Tomasvl

    i’m really looking forward to go to d23 but the airplane tickets are so expensive 🙁 i’m from monterrey mexico.. but i hope you’ll keep us updated.. thanks rick

  6. Wild Ol' Dan

    Howdy Pards,

    What a wonderful thing it is to see Guy Williams joining the list of
    true Disney Legends at long last. For those of us who grew up back in
    those years…well…this recognition for the real Zorro is long, long

    Jim Henson is another individual who dedicated his life to making this ol’ world a happier, more joyful and imaginative place. His legacy will, like Walt’s, live forever in our hearts…

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol’ Dan

  7. Michael Storm

    I own the Zorro dvds.But can’t the disney people air the show on abc and disney channel and put the new Zorro show with his distant relative on abc.Not like the old days.

  8. JUCA

    Oh GOD finally JODI BENSON,PAIGE O’HARA, LEA SALONGA and LINDA LARKIN deserved this a long time ago!

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