Roy Williams (July 30, 1907 – November 7, 1976) was an American artist and entertainer for The Walt Disney Studios, perhaps best known as "Big Roy", the adult Mouseketeer for four seasons on the Mickey Mouse Club television series.
Early life and career
Williams was born in Colville, Washington and raised in Los Angeles, where he attended Fremont High School. After graduating, he was hired as an artist by Walt Disney in 1930. He worked on animated shorts while attending Chouinard Art Institute at night. He later also developed story ideas for Disney. He also designed over 100 insignias for the U.S. armed forces during World War II, and is credited with designing the mouse ears worn on the Mickey Mouse Club. Roy traveled across the country to promote the re-release of such Disney films as Cinderella, while in 1959, he served as goodwill ambassador for The Walt Disney Studios. Later, he worked as a Disney comic strip artist, cartoonist at Disneyland (as seen in the photo posted here), and consultant on the traveling arena show, "Disney on Parade."
Disney director Jack Kinney described Williams as a "big fat balding hot-headed unpredictable bastard", but hugely admired his prolific talent, saying that he could "sit down and grunt out a few pounds of gags as if it were nothing".
The Mouseketeers who worked with him on the original Mickey Mouse Club series, conversely, remembered him fondly. Former Mouseketeer Lonnie Burr, appearing on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow show on NBC in 1975 to talk about the Mickey Mouse Club at the time of its 20th anniversary, called Williams "a warm guy, who liked kids, always had time for kids, and always helped us any way he could."