Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Photos of Walt

It's always fun to find some unfamiliar photos of Walt Disney. Today I have two scans of black and white 8 X 10's from Mr. X! 

First up is this photo of Walt and his wife Lillian, dining at the famous Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, from 1939. Look at the clutter of stacked dishes! They look like Chinese dishes that my mom has - and maybe those are some chopsticks sticking out of the side of one nested pair? 

Zooming in just a bit, we can see that Lilly is decked out in a velvet dress with a fur-lined hat, and an exotic necklace of some kind (my mom is into ethnic jewelry, she guessed that it might be from India). 

What do you think, is Walt eating chili, his favorite?

Next is this scan that was sent to Mr. X after he wrote to the studio, wondering if there were any photos of Walt with Laurel and Hardy (particular favorites of X). They just sent this to him, for free (this was many years ago, of course)! Amazing. It appears to be a bit earlier than the previous image, though not by much. Could they be at the Academy Awards? Everybody appears to be very friendly!

This neat artwork was sold by Heritage Auctions not long ago; clearly it was created and sent to Oliver Hardy as a token of Walt's admiration! Perhaps the photo of the three of them was taken when "The Three Little Pigs" won the 1934 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Poking around the Internet, I found this next photo - producer/director Hal Roach has joined the boys.  Among the many amazing things Hal Roach produced were the "Our Gang" comedies, "Of Mice and Men", and of course, Laurel and Hardy films.


Nanook said...


It certainly does look as if Walt is dining on chili; but perhaps it's merely Vichyssoise.

From what I can find, the image of Walt with Laurel and Hardy is from the Hal Roach Studios' 20th Anniversary party, December 7th, 1933.

Thanks, Major (& Mr. X).

Stu29573 said...

It's so sad that the studios and parks that Walt pour his life into have strayed so far away from his original vision. ...And don't you dare say "What would Walt do?" around any of the new herd! Lip service to Walt, go for the money grab= the "New, Improved" Disney.

WaltsMusic said...

Cool pictures! I have never eaten at the Brown Derby in WDW. Might have to do that now!

Jonathan said...

Very cool, Walt at the Brown Derby. You gotta wonder what he and Lillian were thinking. Stan and Oliver, masters of physical comedy. So sad that very few people even remember them. Hal Roach Studios a.k.a. The Laugh Factory turned out great comedies. No wonder Walt posed for these photos, they all dedicated thier careers to making people smile. Great snaps, thanks Major!

Melissa said...

Maybe I'm just being led astray by that carafe of dark liquid which resembles maple syrup, but it almost looks like they're eating breakfast. The stuff in Walt's bowl looks more like oatmeal than anything. But I don't know if they ever served breakfast at the Brown Derby. I am living for the look on Lillian's face. "If you snap one more picture while I've got my mouth full. I will spool 16mm of whoop-ass where the sun don't shine, buddy." (And then her fur hat comes to life, all teeth and claws and thirsty for some Type O.)

K. Martinez said...

Whatever Walt and Lilian are dining on, they look great in the first photo. The 1930's era is my favorite when it comes to photos of Walt Disney, his family, friends and associates. Thanks, Major.

Patrick Devlin said...

That last picture is terrific: That's some serious Hollywood clout there...

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, wow, amazing. Hal Roach Studios’ 20th anniversary in 1933! He was an early pioneer, for sure. Thanks.

Stuart Powley, I know what you mean - I grew up reading everything I could about the Disney Studio and Disneyland. It’s inevitable that things will change wildly - in a way it’s a miracle that the studio hasn’t gone bankrupt or been absorbed by another entity - instead it is one of the biggest media companies in the world. The Walt days are long over, but we can still enjoy the history.

WaltsMusic, I didn’t know there was a Brown Derby at Walt Disney World. Presumably it is at the Hollywood Studios park? I thought there used to be one in Las Vegas.

Jonathan, my friend Mr. X is a huge Laurel and Hardy fan; but you’re right, those old comedians are barely known, except by film buffs. I didn’t know the Laugh Factory was the site of the old Hal Roach Studios!

Melissa, that does look like syrup, but I can’t imagine Mrs. Disney would be so dolled up for breakfast. You’d think that Lillian would be used to having to pose for photos with her famous hubby, but that doesn’t mean she had to like it, I suppose. Meanwhile, I hope Walt isn’t dunking a cracker (or whatever that is) into oatmeal! Carbs, anyone? ;-)

K. Martinez, I agree, the 30’s (and maybe the 40’s) are such an amazing time for Walt and his studio, so many great projects and innovations happened then - and more than a few hardships as well. What an era.

Patrick Devlin, if only a seven year-old Jerry Lewis had walked past in the background! Now THAT would be some Hollywood royalty.

Melissa said...

Yes, the WDW Brown Derby is in Hollywood Studios. They have dishes from the original menu like the classic Cobb Salad and Grapefruit Cake.

And if your disposable income is big enough to make Scrooge McDuck look like a poor relation, you can Dine With an Imagineer.

(I still say they should have a booth in the corner with an animatronic William Holden, just to see who notices.)

Stu29573 said...

I've actually eaten at the Brown Derby at DHS. It was my wife and my anniversary trip and they surprised us with free champagne. Very good memory...

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

I'm afraid the Bill Holden AA figure would be lost on The Major - but certainly not on TM!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, "grapefruit cake"?? That's a new one on me. Paying to dine with an Imagineer just sounds super awkward.

Stuart Powley, that's one thing that Disney seems to do especially well - when they know that a couple is celebrating a special occasion, they'll make an effort to do something super nice!

Nanook, the William Holden reference is one that I actually got! But only because (I think?) TokyoMagic referenced it, or maybe even linked to a clip of that very episode, not too long ago!