Richest BusinessExecutives
Net Worth:
$1.2 Billion
Date of Birth:
Jan 10, 1930 - Dec 16, 2009 (79 years old)
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Television producer, Television Director, Businessperson
United States of America
💰 Compare Roy Disney's Net Worth

What Was Roy Disney's Net Worth?

Roy Disney was an American media executive, producer, and director who had a net worth of $1.2 billion at the time of his death in 2009. Roy E. Disney was the son of Roy O. Disney and the nephew of Walt Disney. Roy became Chairman of the Board at Disney in the late '60s, then he left the role in 1977 after disagreeing with the direction of the company and left the board altogether in 1984. During this time, Disney helped engineer the takeover that resulted in Michael Eisner coming on as Chairman. The next 20 years would go well, until the company began to nose-dive in the early 2000s. Roy organized a second takeover, and Michael Eisner resigned in 2005. Disney rejoined the company and remained on the board until his death in 2009.

In addition to his role as a Disney executive, Roy directed the 1973 film "Mustang" as well as five episodes of "The Magical World of Disney" (1973–1976). He had 16 production credits to his name, including the films "Pacific High" (1980), "Cheetah" (1989), "Fantasia 2000" (1999), and "Morning Light" (2008), the TV movies "Cristobalito, the Calypso Colt" (1970), "The Flight of the Grey Wolf" (1976), and "Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue" (1990), and the shorts "Destino" (2003) and "The Little Matchgirl" (2006). Roy also produced seven episodes of "The Magical World of Disney" between 1966 and 1976. Sadly, Disney passed away from stomach cancer on December 16, 2009, at the age of 79.

Disney Shares

At the time of his death, he owned 16 million shares of Disney, roughly 1% of the company. For comparison, when Disney acquired Pixar in January 2006, Steve Jobs wound up owning 7% of Disney's total outstanding shares. That deal instantly made Jobs the largest individual shareholder ahead of longtime CEO Michael Eisner's 1.7% and Roy's 1%.

Roy Disney Net Worth

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Early Life

Roy Disney was born Roy Edward Disney on January 10, 1930, in Los Angeles, California. He was the son of Roy O. Disney and Edna Francis. Roy's father was the older brother of Walt Disney. Roy attended Pomona College, graduating in 1951. He then worked as a producer and assistant director at Walt Disney Productions until he was elected to the board of directors in 1967.


In 1977, Disney resigned from his position as a Walt Disney Productions executive due to disagreements over corporate decisions. He said of the decision, "I just felt creatively the company was not going anywhere interesting. It was very stifling." Roy stayed on the board of directors until 1984, then he resigned during a corporate takeover. This eventually led to Walt Disney's son-in-law, Ron Miller, being replaced by Michael Eisner as CEO and Frank Wells as president of the company. Investors attempted a hostile takeover, planning to dismantle Walt Disney Productions and sell the company's assets, but Roy and financial advisor Stanley Gold recruited white knight investors to thwart their attacks. Disney later returned to Walt Disney Productions as vice chairman, and he became chairman of the animation department. During the "Disney Renaissance" of the late 1980s and the 1990s, the company produced films such as "The Lion King" (1994), which grossed nearly $1 billion at the box office, making it the year's second-highest-grossing film.

Due to Disney being worried that Jeffrey Katzenberg (who served as Chairman from 1984 to 1994) would take too much credit for the success of the company's releases in the early 1990s, when Frank Wells died in a 1994 plane crash, Michael Eisner refused to promote Katzenberg to Wells' former position. Katzenberg resigned from Walt Disney Productions in October 1994 due to tensions with Disney and Eisner, and he later sued the company because he felt he was owed money. The lawsuit was settled for an estimated $250 million. In October 1998, Michael presented Roy with the Disney Legends Award at the new Disney Legends Plaza. The following year, Roy's pet project, "Fantasia 2000," was released, and it earned Disney a PGA Award. After Roy's relationship with Michael started to sour, the board of directors rejected his request to extend his tenure as a member. When he announced his resignation in November 2003, Disney said that it was due to "serious differences of opinion about the direction and style of management."

After resigning, Roy helped launch the website, in an attempt to oust Michael Eisner and those who supported him from their positions. At the Walt Disney Company's annual shareholders' meeting in March 2004, 43% of shareholders voted to oppose Eisner's re-election to the corporate board of directors, and he announced his resignation as CEO in a year later. In July 2005, Disney rejoined the board as a nonvoting consultant and director emeritus. Bob Iger replaced Eisner as CEO, and in 2006, Walt Disney Productions acquired Pixar Animation Studios in a $7.4 billion all-stock deal.

(Photo by Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Personal Life

Roy married Patricia Ann Dailey on September 17, 1955, and they welcomed children Abigail Disney, Susan, Tim, and Roy Patrick before divorcing in early 2007. Disney wed CSTV producer Leslie DeMeuse in 2008, and they remained married until his death in December 2009. Roy loved sailing, and he held many records, such as the monohull time record from Los Angeles to Honolulu, which he set in July 1999 on his boat Pyewacket.


On December 16, 2009, Roy passed away from stomach cancer at the age of 79. His death occurred at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach after he had been fighting the disease for a year. Disney was cremated, and his obituary in the "Los Angeles Times" reported that his ashes would be scattered at sea and that he was survived by his wife, Leslie, two daughters, two sons, and 16 grandchildren. Roy's family asked that mourners make donations in his name to the California International Sailing Association in lieu of flowers.


In 2004, Disney earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Short Film, Animated for "Destino." At the 2001 PGA Awards, he was honored with the Vision Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures for "Fantasia 2000." Roy received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ICG Publicists Awards (2000), a Lifetime Achievement in Animation award from the Santa Clarita International Film Festival (2002), a Jules Verne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jules Verne Awards (2008), and a Winsor McCay Award from the Annie Awards (1993). In 1998, he was made a Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II, and in 2000, he served as the grand marshal of the Rose Parade. In 2008, the California Maritime Academy presented Disney with an honorary doctorate "for his many contributions to the state and the nation, including international sailing." A few months after Roy's death, the animation studio at Burbank's Walt Disney Studios was renamed the Roy E. Disney Animation Building.

Real Estate

Roy Disney owned a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Toluca Lake, California, known as the "Jewel on the Lake." In 2019, the 2,443 square foot home went on the market for $5 million.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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