Wally Boag! A Disney Legend Passes Away


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I remember working in our old office and we had a temp woman working along side me. I was talking to her and she told me she worked in the "entertainment" industry securing properties for movie sets, sight locations, etc. Business was down so she had to go on temp work. We got to talking about Disney and she said she was the daughter of a man by the name of Wally Boag. My jaw hit the floor! I was shocked to find out she was working right next to me. I told her how much I admired her dad's work over the years and that he was truly a Disney Legend! A man that worked along side Walt Disney himself.

Alas he has passed away 6-3-11! A true Disney Legend!!

06.03.11 - Disneyland's longtime Golden Horseshoe Revue entertainer and the voice of Jose in the Enchanted Tiki Room passed away at the age of 90.


At Disneyland, Wally also provided the voice of the Audio-Animatronics® parrot, Jose, in the Enchanted Tiki Room, and later, opened the Diamond Horseshoe Revue at Walt Disney World, in 1971.
Wally Boag, a longtime leading man at Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue and television and film actor, passed away today. He was 90 years old. Wally entertained Disneyland park guests five days a week, three times a day, for nearly 27 years. By the time he retired, in 1982, from his role as the outrageous Pecos Bill, Wally had performed in nearly 40,000 productions of the popular Revue.

"The world's stage has experienced a great loss in the passing of Disney Legend Wally Boag," George Kalogridis, president, Disneyland Resort, says. "Wally was instrumental in the development of live entertainment during the early years of both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney World Resort. His characters will continue to live in the hearts of our guests, while his larger than life personality will forever make him the true "Clown Prince of Disneyland."

Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running stage production in show business history, Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue proved to be good steady work for the former vaudeville performer, who recalled, "My longest job before the Golden Horseshoe Revue was 54 weeks. And to think it all began with a two-week contract I signed with Walt Disney when the park opened [in 1955]."

"In many ways, Wally Boag was the heart of Disneyland in the early days," Disney Legend Marty Sklar remembers. "It was not only show business, it was the spirit and exuberance Wally brought to every performance, day in and day out. We all knew that Walt loved to watch Wally in the Golden Horseshoe Revue. As a member of the public relations staff, I never missed a chance to take media guests to see the show. I'm sure I saw Wally's wild and crazy "Pecos Bill" act at least 100 times — to this day, 50 years later, I can remember many his lines, and they are still funny because I can see Wally's hilarious antics and impeccable timing. No wonder Steve Martin talks about Wally as one of his comedy inspirations."

"Here [in The Golden Horseshoe] I had my first lessons in performing, although I was never on stage," Steve Martin said in his autobiography, Born Standing Up. "I absorbed Wally Boag's timing, saying his next line ("When they operated on father, they opened Mother's male"), and took the audience's response as though it were mine."

Wallace Vincent Boag let out his first "yaa-hoo!" September 13, 1920, in Portland, Oregon. At age nine, he joined a professional dance team; by 16, he was running his own dance school; and by 19, he had turned to comedy, performing in nightclubs and theaters across the country and around the world. Among them, Wally played Radio City Music Hall, moving on to such theaters as the Palladium in London and the Tivoli Theatres in Australia and New Zealand. He also performed with Julie Andrews in Starlight Roof at the London Hippodrome in 1947 alongside Julie Andrews, who was only 12 years old. "Wally Boag was a loose-limbed, adorable American who told stories and did silly dances, flinging his amazingly double-jointed legs out to the side and twisting them in all directions while at the same time making extraordinary balloon animals," Julie said in her memoir, Home. "By the end of his act, he'd created a giraffe, an elephant, and several dogs and make believe creatures."

In 1945, he won a contract with Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), appearing in such films as Without Love, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, and The Thrill of Romance, with Esther Williams.

In 1955, a friend told him about auditions for Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue. Wally won the role and quickly became one of Walt's favorite comedic actors. "Dad loved that show [The Golden Horseshoe Revue]," Diane Disney Miller said in the book, Wally Boag, Crown Prince of Disneyland. "He took all of his guests there and never tired of it. It never got stale because Wally was always fresh. Dad and Wally had a lot in common because they were both consummate entertainers. Like Wally, dad was dedicated to bringing fun and laugher to this world. I know that dad loved him and so did so many others."

He later appeared on such television shows as the original Mickey Mouse Club, Disneyland and Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, as well as motion pictures, including The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber and The Love Bug.

At Disneyland, Wally also provided the voice of the Audio-Animatronics® parrot, Jose, in the Enchanted Tiki Room, and later, opened the Diamond Horseshoe Revue at Walt Disney World, in 1971. His original act in the Golden Horseshoe Revue was also featured in a Danny Kaye television special celebrating the 25th anniversary of Disneyland, in 1980.

Wally often toured and consulted on special projects and promotions for The Walt Disney Company. In 1980, he entertained audiences across the country during a 28-day, 20-city tour promoting the re-release of Disney's animated classic Lady and the Tramp. He later traveled to Japan to help translate material for the opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983.
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