Famed Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar Dies At 83

Marty Sklar, a longtime Imagineer who had creative input in Disney attractions ranging from "it's a small world" to Epcot, has died. He was 83.

Sklar died at his home in Hollywood Hills, Calif., on Thursday.

"Everything about Marty was legendary – his achievements, his spirit, his career," Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Co., said. "He embodied the very best of Disney, from his bold originality to his joyful optimism and relentless drive for excellence. He was also a powerful connection to Walt himself."

Sklar was a student at UCLA when he was hired to create The Disneyland News for Disney's new theme park in 1955. He joined the company full time the next year and eventually became Walt Disney's right-hand man and trusted adviser, the company said.

Later, he joined WED Enterprises, which became Walt Disney Imagineering, where he became the creative leader. He was named an official Disney Legend in 2001, and he officially retired as executive vice president and Imagineering ambassador in 2009.

Read more about Marty Sklar in the Orlando Sentinel.