You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bill Anderson, dead at 86

Disney producer and board member

Bill Anderson, one of Walt Disney’s most prolific and trusted film and TV producers and a 24-year veteran of the Disney board of directors, died Dec. 28 in San Francisco. He was 86.

The cause of death was a brain hemorrhage resulting from a fall.

During his 44-year association with the studio, Anderson produced 58 half-hour episodes of “Zorro” as well as such shows for “The Wonderful World of Disney” as “The Swamp Fox,” “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh,” “Texas John Slaughter” and “Johnny Shiloh.”

Anderson served as associate producer of the feature film “Old Yeller” and went on to produce such other popular Disney motion pictures as “Third Man on the Mountain,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” “The One and Only, Genuine Original Family Band,” “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes,” “The Barefoot Executive,” “The $1,000,000 Duck,” “The Apple Dumpling Gang,” “The Treasure of Matacumbe” and “The Shaggy D.A.”

His feature-film producing credits include “Moon Pilot,” “Savage Sam,” “The Fighting Prince of Donegal” and “The Happiest Millionaire.”

Anderson, who worked for the studio from 1943 up until his retirement in 1975, served on the board of directors for Walt Disney Prods. from 1960-84.

He started with the studio in the production control department, went on to oversee the reorganization and expansion of the ink and paint department, and was subsequently appointed assistant to the studio production manager.

In 1951, he was named production manager for the studio, and five years later he was promoted to the role of vice president in charge of studio operations. Following the death of Walt Disney in 1966, Anderson was selected to be part of a small group of producers who would guide the studio’s motion picture output for the next decade.

A native of Smithfield, Utah, Anderson moved to Los Angeles in 1929 to pursue a career as an actor. Casting calls weren’t steady, though, so he finally landed a job at Firestone Rubber Co. and used his small salary to enroll in pre-law at Compton Junior College and USC.

Anderson, who maintained residences in Newport Beach and Indian Wells, Calif., is survived by his wife, Virginia, two daughters and a granddaughter.

Funeral arrangements will be private. A memorial service will be held in late February.

In lieu of flowers, family suggests donations in his name be made to CalArts in Valencia.

More Film

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Talent Agents, WGA Achieve Progress in Second Round of Talks

    Hollywood talent agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved some progress at their second negotiating session over agency regulations, according to sources close to the talks. The two sides met Tuesday, two weeks after their first meeting resulted in both sides criticizing each other, followed by the WGA holding a trio of spirited [...]

  • Aaron Paul

    Film News Roundup: Aaron Paul Honored by Sun Valley Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Aaron Paul is honored, Bruce Berman is re-upped at Village Roadshow, and Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher get a book deal. FESTIVAL HONORS The Sun Valley Film Festival has selected Idaho native and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul as the winner of its Pioneer Award, presented by Variety for his [...]

  • Olivia Munn]EMILY'S List Pre-Oscars Brunch, Inside,

    Olivia Munn Says Brett Ratner Called Her Before His 'Howard Stern' Apology

    Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied [...]

  • Flesh Out review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out'

    Ignore the awful English-language title: “Flesh Out” is an emotionally rich, sensitively made film about a young woman in Mauritania forced to gain weight in order to conform to traditional concepts of well-rounded beauty before her impending marriage. Strikingly registering the sensations of a protagonist living between the dutiful traditions of her class and the [...]

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, DreamWorks Animation claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” Ads placed for the fantasy film had an estimated media value [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content