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The week starts here: Taking the Mickey.

Byline: Mitchell Symons

On Tuesday, Walt Disney would have been 99. Here are ten facts about him and his cartoon empire.

1. Walter Elias Disney used to draw cartoons in exchange for free haircuts.

2. At 16, the US Army wouldn't recruit him because of his age. So he later went to France as a Red Cross ambulance driver.

3. Before going to France, he was a postal clerk in Chicago. And when he returned, he was a postal clerk in Kansas City.

4. Disney started the Laugh-O-Gram Corporation in Kansas City in 1921 with $15,000. But it went bankrupt two years later.

5. In 1923, he went to Hollywood with all his worldly possessions - a jacket, a pair of trousers, a shirt, two sets of underwear and drawing materials.

6. For four years, Walt and wife Lillian lived in extreme poverty, until he had some success with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit.

7. The same year, Walt created Mickey Mouse. He originally called him "Mortimer" but Lillian thought Mickey sounded better. Walt supplied Mickey's voice in the 1928 hit talkie Steamboat Willie. He once said, "I love Mickey more than any woman I've ever known."

8. Paulo Lorenzini, nephew of Pinocchio's original author, Carlo Lorenzini, tried but failed to get the Italian Government to sue Disney for making Pinocchio "too American" in his 1940 film.

9. For Peter Pan, Disney modelled Tinkerbell on Marilyn Monroe.

10. By his death on December 15, 1966, at the age of 65, Disney had won more Oscars (32) than anyone else in history.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 2, 2000
Words:260
Previous Article:7 DAYS TV QUIZ.
Next Article:The week starts here: Celebrity quirks.
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