Bob Iger Pays Tribute to Longest-Serving Cast Member After Their Death

Burny Mattinson
Credit: 23

On February 27, Walt Disney Animation announced that Disney’s longest-serving Cast Member, and Disney Legend, — Burny Mattinson — had passed away at the age of 87. Mattinson had been with the company for an incredible 70 years, beginning as a messenger and working his way up. Mattinson became one of Disney’s most iconic animators in the decades he worked with the company. Sadly, Mattinson got ill — it was not shared what the illness was — and could not recover. He passed away at Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, California.

burny mattinson

Credit: Disney

Within hours of Disney announcing Mattinson’s passing, Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted a heartfelt message. Iger and Mattinson worked alongside each other for years and developed a special friendship.

Deeply saddened that Disney Legend Burny Mattinson—our longest serving employee—has passed away. Burny started as a messenger on the lot in 1953 & went on to become a true icon of @DisneyAnimation. We are forever grateful for his contributions & seven decades of service.

The Walt Disney Family Museum also honored Mattinson, who worked alongside Walt Disney on some of the most classic animated films the company created.

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of legendary animator, director, producer, and story artist Burny Mattinson. He was the longest-serving cast member in the history of The Walt Disney Company, and was to be honored for his 70-year career with Disney this year.

Mattinson first fell in love with animation when his mother took him to see Pinocchio when it came out in 1940. From there, he worked on mastering his drawing skills, so he could one day work for Disney. His dream came true and Mattinson worked on some of Disney’s most iconic animated films, including Mary Poppins, The Sword in the Stone, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, and more.

Mary Poppins

Credit: Disney

In addition to being an incredible animator, Mattinson was a gifted writer. Many of the films that Mattinson helped animate, he also helped write. This includes Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Tarzan. 

Mattinson was officially honored as a Disney Legend in 2008.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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