Kenny Ortega grew up in a household filled with music and dance, so it was natural for him to turn to musical theatre and film for a career. “When I was a little boy, I remember watching my mother and father dance in the living room. They would jitterbug and mambo. Before we had TV, we had radio and records, and my mom and dad were always dancing. I remember her…See more
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, Bette Midler was 12 when she saw her first stage show, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, recalling, “I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was. I fell so in love with it.
Everything else in my life receded once I discovered theatre.”
Bette moved to New York in 1965. Within a year she hit the Great White Way, first as a…
With an art house filmmaker father and a writer and actress mother, Robert Downey Jr. was born to make his mark on the silver screen. Growing up in New York City, London, Santa Monica, and Greenwich Village, among others—wherever his parents were working—he recalled, “I was raised by a black-and-white RCA TV. Rod Serling. Bill Shatner. Hogan’s Heroes, and…See more
Born in Germany, composer Hans Zimmer has scored more than 160 projects which, combined, have grossed more than $28 billion worldwide. Hans has been honored with an Academy Award® , two Golden Globes®, three Grammys®, an American Music Award, and a Tony Award®.
Hans first gained fame as a member of the pop music group The Buggles, whose music video for “Video…See more
Serving her country is in Robin Roberts’ blood. Her mother was Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts, the first African American to lead Mississippi’s Board of Education. Her father, Lawrence Roberts, served in World War II as a pilot with the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators. Today, Robin Roberts serves her country and makes a difference…See more
In 1967, as a member of a touring singing group called “The Young Americans,” a talented California singer and dancer named Barnette Ricci helped Bob Hope kick off the 1967 United Crusade supporting the United Way and American Red Cross. Soon thereafter, Barnette joined The Walt Disney Company as a Disneyland Cast Member, and, in 1969, choreographed and directed…See more
In a career spanning four decades, Diane has been a trailblazer for women and for journalism. She has been a leader in morning television, prime time magazines, and the ABC flagship broadcast World News. Her final season at World News delivered its most-watched season in six years.
Her work also includes some of the most-watched interviews in prime time—38 million…See more
Ming-Na Wen was born in Macau, China, and lived in Hong Kong. At age 6, her mother brought her and her older brother to the United States. They settled in New York City, where Ming-Na learned English. Ming-Na vividly remembers when the acting bug bit her. It was in third grade when she performed in her elementary school’s Easter play.
After graduating with high…See more
For 37 years at Disney, Wing T. Chao played a vital role in designing and developing exceptional and inspiring projects, worth more than $12 billion, at Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide. Wing served as Vice Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for Asia Pacific Development, as well as Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering, where he oversaw master…See more
Born in New York City, Jon Favreau began his career with appearances in independent films and television, but has since become one of Hollywood’s most successful producers and directors. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and studied at Queens College, but prior to receiving his degree, he moved to Chicago to try his hand at improv comedy. Jon’s first…See more