How Old Was Walt Disney When He Died?

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Walter Elias Disney is the reason why we celebrate all things Disney. From theme parks to characters that left an imprint forever, it was all him. But do you know there are different theories around Walt Disney’s death. It still concerns people to know how old was Walt Disney when he died to understand his career graph and what all he achieved within his colorful life.

Walt Disney’s timeless creations

Even so many years after his death, people remember Walt Disney fondly and watch the cartoon characters created by him a century ago. The world is grateful to Walt Disney for spreading love and laughter through cinema. No wonder that he has won the Oscar as many as 22 times.

Disney has given us perfect characters that it’s hard to pick a favorite. So, which ones are the sweetest cartoon characters loved by Disney enthusiasts?

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse came into existence in the 1920s and is irreplaceable even today. He is a lovable fictional character with his white gloves, yellow shoes, and red shorts. In the movie Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse appeared together.

Disney took home multiple honorary awards, one of which was given to him in 1932 for Mickey Mouse.


The Lion King is an animated character that serves as an inspiration for all. From being an insecure cub to becoming a confident king, Simba’s journey is wonderful.

Aladin’s Genie

The enchanting genie that made Aladin’s life easy is the epitome of friendship. With his funny antics and his unique style of talking, how can someone ignore him? The best part about Genie is that he has magical powers. We certainly couldn’t have got a better Genie than Robin Williams.


If you have watched The Little Mermaid, you are already a fan of Sebastian, the red crab. In life, everyone needs at least one friend who will break all rules for them. Luckily, Ariel had Sebastian who was always loyal to her. His infectious personality and memorable songs make life under the sea desirable to all.

Donald Duck

Donald Duck’s adventures never seemed to end. Together with Minnie, Mickey, and his other friends, he was always ready to embark on adventurous journeys. A sailor shirt with a bow tie and a cap is his standard attire. No matter what the anthropomorphic duck does, back luck never leaves his side.


Infamous for her cruelty, Cruella should be on this list as she is one of the most iconic villains. Her ruthlessness makes her scary and little children around the globe are afraid of her wrath. But the beauty of the character lies in its savagery.


As the name suggests, Goofy is the goofiest character and Disney Productions introduced him in the 1930s. A tall and black dog, Goofy has a Southern accent and he loves to wear an orange turtleneck sweatshirt and a fedora hat. Intuitive, clumsy, and eccentric, Goofy never ceases to amaze.

How old was Walt Disney when he died?

December 15, 1966, was the gloomy day on which Walt Disney left the mortal world. The American cartoon movie producer Disney expired when he was 65 years old.

He was such a workaholic that he worked till the last day of his life. Not just the world of cinema, but the world mourned his passing away.

How did Walt Disney die?

Now you already know how old was Walt Disney when he died. Disney died because of health problems resulting from his unhealthy lifestyle.

Disney started smoking a pipe when he was only 20 years old. As handsome as he looked in movie clips with the pipe dangling from his lips, smoking is a dangerous hobby.

Disney was a cigarette smoker who inhaled at least 3 packs a day while at work. This is a lesser-known fact about him as he rarely smoked in public or in front of younger fans. However, he was bound to suffer the consequences of excessive smoking.

The reason behind his death was lung cancer, which led to circulatory collapse. As per reports, his net worth was approximately $1 billion at that time. His death came as a shock to his fans who felt he passed away too early.

Was Walt Disney frozen?

In 1996’s November, medical diagnoses revealed that Walt Disney had lung cancer. A chain smoker, Disney breathed his last at a hospital in Burbank within a month after being diagnosed with the deadly disease. He was 65 years old on December 15, the day of his death.

Soon after his demise, Walt Disney frozen stories began circulating in the press. There were rumors that the genius filmmaker’s body had been cryogenically preserved.

People believed that doctors did this with the hope that someday medical science would be advanced enough to bring him back to life.

However, despite the persistent tales regarding cryonics and Walt Disney, cremation took place after his death. His ashes remain in a mausoleum in Glendale’s Forest Lawn Cemetery.


Although Walt Disney frozen rumors are not true, the first human to be frozen cryogenically was a university professor in America.

It took place in 1967 and since then, the world has witnessed the cryopreservation of a hundred others. Ted Williams, the great baseball player who passed away in 2002, was one of them.

Mysterious note left by Walt Disney before death

Walt Disney breathed his last in 1966, a multi-million-dollar franchise was left behind by him. Other than his legacy, there are many stories about a mysterious note the Mickey Mouse creator had left.

Did Disney write a note with a secret message for somebody? What is the information present on that note?

Here’s the scoop on the final message from the mastermind behind the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.

The day Disney was hospitalized, he was busy working on something in his office. According to Jim Korkis, the revered Disney historian, an interesting note was discovered from Disney’s office.

On that note, Disney wrote four names, namely, Ron Miller, CIA – Mobley, 2 Way Down Cellar, and Kurt Russell.

The note was incomplete and Disney didn’t discuss the thoughts with anyone. However, it is evident that he wanted to interact with these four people, but he couldn’t procced with that plan.

Were ‘Kurt Russell’ the last words of Disney?

Walt Disney Company completed 100 years in business this year. So, fans can’t help asking questions like ‘How old was Walt Disney when he died?’.

There are several humorous stories about the last words spoken by him. One such persistent tittle-tattle is that ‘Kurt Russell’ were the last words spoken by him.

Russell, 71 years old now, has been in many amazing movies in his brilliant career of seven decades. Walt Disney and Kurt Russell knew each other and they had mature conversations about movies. Disney knew that Russell was extraordinarily talented and he enjoyed Russell’s company.

Nobody was allowed entry into Disney’s office after he died. In 1970, Dave Smith got the job of cataloging everything left by Disney in his office.

Dave found a piece of paper on which Disney had scribbled multiple upcoming projects. The last words on that sheet were ‘Kurt Russell.

So, before Disney went to the hospital, the last name on his mind may have been Kurt Russell. Maybe Disney was planning to request Russell to act in one of his upcoming films. When questioned, Russell said that he had no idea about what kind of project Disney would have offered him.

Walt Disney also did not get a chance to speak about it with anybody. So, nobody can ever solve that mystery, but the lore remains. Technically speaking, the name of Kurt Russell were not Walt Disney’s parting words. His words at the hospital on the day of his death where the parting words he uttered.

What happened to Disney Company after Walt Disney’s death?

After Walt Disney drew his last breath, Disney Company was in need of a new chairman. His brother filled up the void by taking over the company.

As Roy Oliver Disney was a cofounder of the Walt Disney Company, he was the most deserving candidate for this position. But what happened to the company after Walt Disney’s brother took his place?

For the first few years, the company did not make too many animation films. It shifted its focus from making anime films to live-action movies.

The number of animation staff of the company became 125. Earlier, this number was 500 and they hired only 21 people between 1970 and 1977.

Walt Disney could not complete Disney World

Disney World was the brainchild of Disney and it’s sad that he could never visit the happiest place on Earth. He perished four years before Disney World opened its gates for its guests. Roy Disney deserves credit for working tirelessly to fulfill his deceased brother’s lifelong dream.

Roy Disney came out of retirement and completed the construction of Disney World. He also presided over its official opening as a tribute to Walt Disney.

EPCOT: The failed plan of Walt Disney to create a high-tech city

While everyone knows about Walt Disney’s interests in animation and fantasy, he was also a fan of urbanism and technology. He was obsessed with the idea of building an ideal city in Florida. In the mid-sixties, Disney came up with the idea of creating an advanced city, the city of tomorrow.

Even in the 1960s, only Disney could imagine using state-of-the-art technology and that explains why he wanted to name it EPCOT.

EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. So, Disney held several meetings with the leading tech companies to explore novel possibilities.

He also studies futuristic literature and was highly impressed by the works of Victor Gruen. Victor Gruen was an Australian architect a pioneer who started designing shopping malls.

Disney was so determined that he spent $5 million to purchase land in Florida. The area he bought was double the size of the city of Manhattan.

But you already know how old was Walt Disney when he died. So, he could not design EPCOT the way he wished. The failed project is a theme park now in Florida.

EPCOT has two sections: World Showcase and Future World.

Walt Disney’s unfulfilled dream of opening a ski resort

Beyond his theme parks, Walt Disney had dreamt of other ways to entertain his audience. One of the most ambitious goals to build a ski resort that can provide people an exciting thrill and evoke the enchantment of his previous creations.

His vision of such a magical winter destination could have given us all an unforgettable experience. It could have been a fairyland where cherished characters guided people down the trails, where childhood nostalgia met the exhilaration of alpine slopes.

Alas, he did not live long enough to convert this dream into a reality. Yet, it gives us a glimpse of Disney’s creativity to think out of the box and envision extraordinary realms.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, the answer to ‘How old was Walt Disney when he died?’ is an uncomplicated one. Apart from that, almost everything about his personal and professional life have been fascinating. The legend that he was, Walt Disney continues to live in the hearts of millions of fans.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is Walt Disney’s wife?

Walt Disney’s love life was no less dreamy than a fairy tale. When he was courting Lillian Bounds, the two were inseparable. They stayed married for 41 years and the wedding took place in Episcopal Church in Lewiston.

2. Who took over after Walt Disney died?

Roy Oliver Disney, the younger brother of Walt Disney, became The Walt Disney Company’s chairman after Disney’s demise.

3. What happened to Walt Disney’s wife?

Walt Disney’s wife was Lillian Disney with whom he tied the knot on July 13, 1925. Lilian Disney died on December 15, 1997, 31 years after her husband’s death. She was 98 and the reason behind her demise was a stroke.

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