Jennings Osborne Dies at Age 67

Discussion in 'Disney Corporate and General News' started by Isafari, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Isafari

    Isafari Well-Known Member

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    Jennings Osborne, the man who is responsible for the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights that entertains guests each Christmas season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, has passed away.
    The family of Jennings Osborne says the 67-year-old philanthropist has died from complications following heart surgery.

    The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights has become a holiday tradition to rival any experience at Walt Disney World. The display was the vision and passion of Jennings. In 1986, his daughter, Breezy, asked for some Christmas lights. He put up 1 million. When his next door neighbors complained, he bought their houses and put lights on them, too. With the support of his wife, Mitzi, and to the delight of Breezy, the display was THE holiday experience in all of Arkansas and beyond….until he had to turn it off. And that’s when Disney stepped in and Jennings could say, “I’m going to Disney World!â€￾ As it turned out, Jennings, Mitzi and Breezy were huge Disney fans and had visited the parks many times.

    Indeed, they bought the nativity scene that is in the display to this day at the Italian Pavilion in Epcot. All the original icons are still part of the display: the giant globe, the 100 flying angels, the twirling carousels, the flying Santas and reindeer, the red canopy of lights, the 70 foot tree and all the other figurines of elves, snowmen and carolers.
     

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  2. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That is so terribly sad. We saw him, his wife and his daughter one of the first years that Disney presented the Spectacle of Lights. They were on stage and he explained that he created the huge show for his daughter over the course of several years. He then sold it to Disney as it was too much for the neighborhood!

    He seemed to be a very nice man. 67 is a very young age to die.

    May he rest in peace. He leaves a wonderful legacy.
     
  3. uscwest

    uscwest Well-Known Member

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    He does indeed leave behind a wonderful legacy. My heart goes out to his family.
     
  4. catrancher

    catrancher New Member

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    Wonderful display. Wonderful man. What a thing to be remembered for!

    Truly a life well lived. :yes:

    Tom :)macwave:... Christmas lights fan!)
     
  5. DisneyFreak

    DisneyFreak New Member

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    I'm sure Walt was there to shake his hand.

    RIP Jennings Osborne.
     
  6. daveann

    daveann New Member

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    very sad :sorry:
     
  7. Shellyamc

    Shellyamc New Member

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    So very young :sorry:

    But what a beautiful, shining legacy to leave behind. So many smiles on so many faces..yes..Walt was there to meet him I'm sure.

    RIP
     
  8. Isafari

    Isafari Well-Known Member

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    What a wonderful thought!
     

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