He was candid, he was honest and in talking with Imagineer Marty Sklar you got a sense that he really loved what he was doing. He was one of the many Imagineers that worked on Disneyland with Walt Disney himself, back before there was Imagineers. He has passed away at the age of 83.
“Marty was the ultimate Disney Imagineer and Cast Member. From his days working as an intern with Walt to just two weeks ago engaging with fans at D23 Expo, Marty left an indelible mark on Disney Parks around the globe and on all of the guests who make memories every day with us,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “He was one of the few people that was fortunate to attend the opening of every single Disney park in the world, from Anaheim in 1955 to Shanghai just last year. We will dearly miss Marty’s passion, skill and imaginative spark that inspired generations of Cast, Crew and Imagineers.”
“Everything about Marty was legendary – his achievements, his spirit, his career,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “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. No one was more passionate about Disney than Marty and we’ll miss his enthusiasm, his grace, and his indomitable spirit.”
He worked with the Walt Disney Company for 54 years, starting out as a newspaper editor at UCLA where he was recruited to create the Disneyland News. When he graduated in 1956, he he joined Disney full time. He went from being the creator of the newspaper to being Walt's right hand, to the head of Imagineering.
He retired as Executive Vice President and Imagineering Ambassador on July 17, 2009
Marty is survived by his wife of 60 years, Leah; son Howard and his wife, Katriina Koski-Sklar; grandchildren Gabriel and Hannah; daughter Leslie; and grandchildren Rachel and Jacob.
We had the privilege of hearing him talk about Pirates of the Caribbean just a few weeks ago at the D23 Expo.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.
Stay tuned for more.