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Dave Smith, the first-ever archivist at Disney and the founder of the Walt Disney Archives, has died. Smith passed away in Burbank, Calif., on Friday. He was 78.
Over a 40-year career, Smith created and grew a department for preserving Disney's films, television projects, theme parks and more in addition to penning several books on Disney history and writing magazine columns. Among Smith's publications are Disney: The First 100 Years, Disney A to Z, Disney Trivia From the Vault, the four Ultimate Disney Trivia books and The Quotable Walt Disney.
“I’m deeply saddened to learn of Dave Smith’s passing,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “He was the unsung hero of Disney’s history who, as our first archivist, spent 40 years rescuing countless documents and artifacts from obscurity, investing endless hours restoring and preserving these priceless pieces of our legacy, and putting them in context to tell our story. Dave was a true Disney Legend, and we are indebted to him for building such an enduring, tangible connection to our past that continues to inspire our future.”
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Born in Pasadena, Calif. to librarian and educator parents, Smith graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in history and, later, a master's degree in library science. Smith worked in the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., interned at the Library of Congress and worked at the Research Library at UCLA before he was hired by Roy O. Disney, Walt's brother and The Walt Disney Company co-founder. His first task at Disney? To preserve the items in the late Walt's office.
During his time at Disney, Smith grew the department, joined the Society of California Archivists, served as the executive director of the Manuscript Society for 21 years and penned seven Disney books. He also wrote columns for Disney fan magazines and websites, where he had a column called "Ask Dave."
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In 2007, Smith was honored with the Disney Legend Award. After retiring in 2010, he worked as a consultant for the company for nine years as chief archivist emeritus.
Pictures: People we lost in 2019
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Andrea Levy (March 7, 1956 - Feb. 14, 2019)
Award-winning author of "Small Island" died at the age of 62 due to cancer. The writer is known to have explored the experience of the black British in the years after Windrush in a series of novels. In 2010, her last novel "The Long Song" was nominated for the Booker Prize and adapted for BBC One in 2018.
Gordon Banks (Dec. 30, 1937 - Feb. 12, 2019)
England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper died at the age of 81. Banks' former club Stoke City shared the news on Twitter via a statment from his family, which read, "It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight. We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him." Banks was considered to be one of the greatest footballers of his generation and was named FIFA goalkeeper of the year six times. He also earned 73 caps for England.
Albert Finney (May 9, 1936 - Feb. 8, 2019)
The English actor died peacefully after suffering from a short illness. Finney is best known for playing 'angry young man' Arthur Seaton in the 1960 British drama 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning'. Throughout his career, Finney received five Oscar nominations, and a Golden Globe award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in 'The Gathering Storm'.
Kristoff St. John (July 15, 1966 – Feb. 3, 2019)
The actor, known for his role in the daytime soap “The Young and the Restless,” died in his home in the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles, California, U.S., aged 52. His attorney Mark Geragos confirmed the news, tweeting, “Few men had the unique strength, courage & sensitivity that @kristoffstjohn1 lived every single minute of every day. He impacted everyone he met and millions who he inspired and in turn admired him. On behalf of @MiaStJohnBoxer & @TheStJohnFamily thank you for all of your love.”
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Jeremy Hardy (July 17, 1961 – Feb. 1, 2019)
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Clive Swift (Feb. 9, 1936 – Feb. 1, 2019)
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Emiliano Sala (Oct. 31, 1990 – January 2019)
The Argentine soccer player was on board a light aircraft that went missing on Jan. 21, 2019, while flying from Nantes, France, to Cardiff, Wales. His body was recovered from the crashed plane on Feb. 7. In a statement, Dorset Police said: “The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.” At the time of his death, the center-forward had just moved from his former club Nantes to Cardiff City.
Dick Miller (Dec. 25, 1928 – Jan. 30, 2019)
The veteran actor, best known for his roles in "Gremlins" (1984) and "The Terminator" (1984), died at the age of 90 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Over his six-decade-long career, he had over 175 movie and 2,000 TV appearances. Miller is survived by his wife Lainie, daughter Barbara and granddaughter Autumn.
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Louisa Moritz (Sept. 25, 1946 – January 2019)
The actress, best known for playing Rose in the Oscar-winning film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," died at the age of 72 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. According to her representative, Moritz died last week at her home. Her other notable works were "Up in Smoke" (1978) and "The Last American Virgin" (1982).
James Ingram (Feb. 16, 1952 – Jan. 29, 2019)
The singer-songwriter died at the age of 66 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. He was a winner of two Grammy Awards and earned two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song. He was a frequent collaborator with Quincy Jones, and had also co-written Michael Jackson's "Pretty Young Things." A few of his well-known hits include "Baby, Come to Me," "I Don't Have the Heart" and "Somewhere Out There."
Michel Legrand (Feb. 24, 1932 – Jan. 26, 2019)
The celebrated French composer, conductor and jazz pianist died at the age of 86 in Paris, France. He was the recipient of three Oscars and five Grammy Awards among other accolades. He is best remembered for classic film songs such as "The Windmills of your Mind," "I Will Wait for You" and "You Must Believe in Spring."
Kevin Barnett (1987 – Jan. 22, 2019)
The comedian and writer, who co-created the Fox series "Rel," died at 32. He was vacationing in Mexico a few days before his death. United Talent Agency confirmed the news on Twitter on Jan. 22 and wrote, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and client Kevin Barnett. He was an incredible talent and a wonderful person. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We will miss him.” Barnett's cause of death is not known yet. His notable works include the Fox series "Unhitched" and TruTV's sketch comedy series "Friends of the People."
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The actress, 39, showed off her wild, untamed blonde tresses that shot straight out of her head as she took a mirror selfie in her bathroom. '#VolumeUp', Kate captioned the snap. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited That's the ticket: Hudson and her boyfriend Danny Fujikawa enjoyed a movie date in Los Angeles on Wednesday The Almost Famous star had a determined expression upon her face as she posed in front of the mirror, rocking a khaki top and grey shirt.
Carol Channing (Jan. 31, 1921 – Jan. 15, 2019)
The theater actress and singer was best known for her lead role in "Hello, Dolly!" and continued to perform into her 90s. Channing also acted in movies and received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for her performance in "Thoroughly Modern Millie." On television, she was a favorite on talk and quiz shows. She died of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, California.
Jo Andres (May 21, 1954 – Jan. 7, 2019)
The filmmaker and choreographer died at the age of 64. The cause of her death hasn't been released. Andres, who was married to actor Steve Buscemi for over three decades, was known for her 'film/dance/light' experimental performance art in the 1980s. She also served as a dance consultant to the Wooster Group.
Bob Einstein (Nov. 20, 1942 - Jan. 2, 2019)
The American actor and comedy writer widely known for TV series such as "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" died at 76. The news was confirmed on Twitter by his brother Albert Brooks. He said, "R.I.P. My dear brother Bob Einstein. A great brother, father and husband. A brilliantly funny man. You will be missed forever."
Daryl Dragon (Aug. 27, 1942 – Jan. 2, 2019)
The singer, 76, died of renal failure in Prescott, Arizona, U.S. He was popularly known as a part of the '70s duo The Captain & Tennille, which he formed with his then-wife Toni Tennille. The couple divorced in 2014 after 40 years of marriage. Tennille said in a statement, "He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly. I was at my most creative in my life, when I was with him."
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