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Philadelphia favorites Dick Clark, Glen Keane and Ed Wynn to be made Disney Legends

Philadelphia favorites Dick Clark, Glen Keane and Ed Wynn to be made Disney Legends

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Thanks to Comic-Con, all eyes will be on San Diego for the next few days. But -- to be honest -- that doesn't matter much to the fine folks of Philadelphia.

You see, they're still jazzed about the great news that came down from The Walt Disney Company last week. Which is that three local boys have made good. American Bandstand host Dick Clark, animator Glen Keane and comedian and actor Ed Wynn are to be inducted as official Disney Legends during next month's D23 EXPO at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Dick Clark back in 1956 when "Bandstand" was still only
being broadcast in Philadelphia on WFIL-TV. Copyright
Dick Clark Productions. All rights reserved

While not a Philadelphia native, Dick Clark's career was launched in the City of Brotherly Love as the host of "Bandstand," a local afternoon dance show on WFIL-TV which featured high school kids dancing to the tunes of the day.  Clark was able to convince the very young ABC television network to give his local show a national tryout in 1957.  On August 5th, 1957, Clark took his local dance show to the national airwaves as host of "American Bandstand."

Clark's honor as a Disney Legend literally comes days after his dance program will celebrate its 56th anniversary in the building which housed Studio B of the old WFIL-TV studios at 46th and Market Streets in West Philadelphia.  His stint as the host of the dance show which brought rock-and-roll music to more than 40 million homes across the country, opened the door for Clark to produce game shows like the "$100,000 Pyramid", award programs like the "Golden Globes" and the "Academy of Country Music Awards," television specials and his annual "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve."  Clark passed away in April 2012.

A proud poppa pays tribute to his talented son as Bil Keane
folds Glen Keane's take on "Tarzan" into a Summer 1999
edition of his daily single panel comic, "The Family
Circus." Copyright King Feature Syndicate.
All rights reserved

Glen Keane is a Philadelphia native who has given life to many of Walt Disney Studios most popular animated characters.  Born in Philadelphia in April 1954, Glen is the son of the late cartoonist Bill Keane, creator of "The Family Circus" comic strip.  Since joining Disney in 1974, Glen has animated such characters as Penny in "The Rescuers," Elliott in "Pete's Dragon," the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast ," as well as the title characters in "The Little Mermaid ," "Aladdin ," "Pocahontas," and "Tarzan ."

Comedian and star of stage and screen, Ed Wynn is the third person with Philly ties to be named a Disney Legend this year.  Born Isaiah Edwin Leopold, Wynn attended Central High School in Philadelphia until the age of 15 when he ran away from home to pursue a job in show business.  Fearing that his family would be embarrassed by his choice of careers, the teenager adapted his middle name "Edwin" into his new stage name "Ed Wynn."  The comedian and actor appeared in numerous Disney classics like "Babes in Toyland ," "That Darn Cat ," "The Absent-Minded Professor ," and "Mary Poppins ."  Animation fans will also recognize his voice as that of the Mad Hatter in Disney's classic "Alice in Wonderland ."

Ed Wynn as he appeared when he was shooting the live-action reference footage for
Walt Disney Studios' animated version of "Alice in Wonderland." Copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Clark, Keane and Wynn join "Monsters, Inc. " and "Monsters University " stars Billy Crystal and John Goodman, technology visionary Steve Jobs and Imagineers Tony Baxter and Collin Campbell as the next class of Disney Legends.  They will be honored during ceremonies at the D23 EXPO on Saturday, August 10th at the Anaheim Convention Center at 2 p.m.

So if you're headed to the "Ultimate Disney Fan Event" next month, be sure to bring along some Scrapple, some cheese steaks and some soft pretzels. So that -- when the time is right -- you can then pay tribute to this trio of Philly favorites who have left their mark on the House of Mouse.

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