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Regis Philbin honored as Disney Legend at D23 Expo

August 19, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Disney fans from around the world are converging in Anaheim for the big D23 Expo, described as the ultimate Disney fan experience.

Kicking off the first day, TV personality Tom Bergeron hosted the Disney Legends awards ceremony. This year's honorees included TV icon Regis Philbin, Muppets creator Jim Henson, "Zorro" actor Guy Williams and the voices behind the Disney Princess Court.

Head of D23 Steven Clark described the award as the most prestigious honor bestowed on the men and women who have contributed to the Disney legacy.

"I got to say, it really is quite an honor. I don't even know I deserve this," said Philbin, host of "Live! With Regis and Kelly."

Lisa Henson accepted her father's honor. She described her dad as a lighthearted and happy person.

"Even though he was a good businessman and he organized a large creative troop of artists, he was still very, very light and always highly-optimistic and inside a very happy person," she said.

Bergeron, host of "Dancing With The Stars," joked with Philbin and tried to convince him to join the hit ABC reality competition. But the daytime talk show host made it clear that's not happening.

"You've made fun at hip replacements today. I've got one of those and if I did your show I'd have another one," Philbin said during the ceremony.

Philbin will step down as the king of daytime in November when he says goodbye to "Live! With Regis and Kelly." After the ceremony, he named one person he could see replace him: me.

"Tell Bob Iger you need to be the next Regis. Look at this face (holding my face), could you see this with Kelly? I can," Regis joked.

Fans also got to hear a special treat as the Disney princesses officially became legends. The princess voices are already Disney royalty, but now they've been named Disney legends too.

"To be officially honored as ourselves, as the people behind these really wonderful characters, it really means a lot," said Lea Salonga, the voice of "Jasmine" and "Mulan."

"Every time I start to even think about it, it makes me start to cry," said Jodi Benson, the voice of "Ariel." "And I think it's just because the magnitude of it."

The D23 Expo continues through Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.


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