Art Linkletter, Disneyland’s Opening Day Host & “Disney Legend” Honoree, Dies

Art Linkletter died today at his home in Bel-Air, California. At 97 years old Linkletter was not only a legend in the entertainment and media industry but to Disney fans worldwide. He will always be remembered as one of Disneyland’s opening day hosts on July 17, 1955 with Hollywood friends Ronald Reagan and Bob Cummings.

Linkletter also received the coveted “Disney Legends Award” back in 2005 for his extraordinary and integral contributions to the Walt Disney Company. When Disneyland celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary in 2005 Mr. Linkletter participated in the celebration and has always been recognized as one of the original personalities to create magic for the Walt Disney Company.

In a statement released today by Disney President Bob Iger, Linkletter was honored:

“Throughout Art’s 60 years in show business, he remained one of the most respected and beloved media personalities in America. Art had forged a great friendship with our founder Walt Disney, which led him to host Disneyland’s groundbreaking live opening day broadcast on ABC in 1955. Art had remained a good friend to the company ever since, and we honored him with the prestigious Disney Legends Award in 2005. On behalf of everyone at Disney, we are saddened by Art’s passing and extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones.”

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