Yale Wilbur Gracey was a Chinese-American Imagineer, writer, and layout artist who joined Disney in 1939 as a layout artist for Pinocchio. He also worked on animated shorts and films including classics such as The Three Caballeros and Fantasia.

By 1961, through years of hands-on experimentation and curiosity, Yale began his second career at Disney as a special effects and lighting artist at Walt Disney Imagineering - then WED Enterprises. Gracey created many of the special effects for Disneyland's attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion where he designed the iconic 'grim grinning ghosts' that inhabit the mansion as well as the realistic flames burning the overtaken city in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Gracey is also responsible for creating unique and creative illusions for Walt Disney's most beloved attractions including the Carousel of Progress for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair and it was later used in Space Mountain to block out the surrounding roller coaster structure. For the original EPCOT Center, Gracey created the breathtaking 'CenterCore' finale of the much missed World of Motion attraction.

He retired on October 4, 1975.[2]

Death and legacy

Gracey was murdered while sleeping on September 5, 1983 in Los Angeles, California by a burglar, 2 days after his 73rd birthday. Gracey's wife, Beverly, was injured in the attack as well.[3][4] Posthumously inducted as a Disney Legend in 1999, the Master Gracey character on the Haunted Mansion attraction is based on him. Every morning, Cast Members place a red rose on Master Gracey's grave. This is believed to have started in the 1980s after Gracey's murder as a tribute to the Imagineer.

Disney Filmography

Year Film Position
1940 Pinocchio layout artist
1940 Fantasia segment "The Pastoral Symphony"
1941 The Reluctant Dragon art direction: cartoon sequences
1942 Saludos Amigos backgrounds/layout artist - uncredited
1943 Figaro and Cleo layout artist - uncredited
1944 Donald's Off Day layout artist
1944 The Three Caballeros layout artist
1945 The Eyes Have It layout artist
1945 No Sail layout artist
1946 A Knight for a Day layout artist
1946 Lighthouse Keeping layout artist
1946 The Story of Menstruation layout artist - uncredited
1946 Frank Duck Brings 'em Back Alive layout artist
1946 Double Dribble layout artist
1947 Straight Shooters layout artist
1947 Clown of the Jungle layout artist
1947 Bootle Beetle layout artist
1947 Foul Hunting layout artist
1947 Chip an' Dale layout artist
1948 They're Off layout artist
1948 Inferior Decorator layout artist
1948 Soup's On layout artist
1948 Three for Breakfast layout artist
1948 Tea for Two Hundred layout
1949 Donald's Happy Birthday layout artist
1949 Sea Salts layout artist
1949 Winter Storage layout artist
1949 Honey Harvester layout artist
1949 All in a Nutshell layout artist
1949 The Greener Yard layout artist
1949 Slide, Donald, Slide layout artist
1949 Toy Tinkers layout artist
1950 Lion Around layout artist
1950 Crazy Over Daisy layout artist
1950 Trailer Horn layout artist
1950 Hook, Lion and Sinker layout artist
1950 Bee at the Beach layout
1950 Out on a Limb layout artist
1951 Chicken in the Rough layout artist
1951 Dude Duck layout artist
1951 Corn Chips layout artist
1951 Test Pilot Donald layout artist
1951 Lucky Number layout artist
1951 Out of Scale layout artist
1951 Bee on Guard layout artist
1952 Donald Applecore layout artist
1952 Lambert the Sheepish Lion layout artist
1952 Two Chips and a Miss layout artist
1952 Let's Stick Together layout artist
1952 Uncle Donald's Ants layout artist
1952 Trick or Treat background artist
layout artist
1952 Pluto's Christmas Tree layout artist
1953 Don's Fountain of Youth layout artist
1953 The New Neighbor layout artist
1953 Rugged Bear layout artist
1953 Working for Peanuts layout artist
1953 Canvas Back Duck layout artist
1954-1968 The Magical World of Disney layout artist
stylist ("The Plausible Impossible")
1954 Spare the Rod layout artist
1954 Dragon Around layout artist
1954 Grin and Bear It layout artist
1954 The Flying Squirrel layout artist
1955 No Hunting layout artist
1955 Bearly Asleep layout artist
1955 Beezy Bear layout artist
1955 Up a Tree layout artist
1956 Hooked Bear layout artist
1956 In the Bag layout artist



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Disney's Nine Old Men: Milt KahlFrank ThomasOllie JohnstonLes ClarkJohn LounsberyMarc DavisWard KimballEric LarsonWolfgang Reitherman

Animators: Bill TytlaArt BabbittLee BlairPreston BlairFred MooreShamus CulhaneCy YoungDon LuskNorman FergusonHal KingJack HannahDick KinneyHal AmbroKen O'BrienJudge WhitakerBill JusticeDon BluthGary GoldmanCharles A. NicholsBlaine GibsonJohn EwingWalt StanchfieldFred HellmichAmby PaliwodaWilfred JacksonXavier AtencioBen SharpsteenEarl HurdDale OliverEric CleworthDavid HandFred SpencerJulius SvendsenEd BenedictKenneth Muse
Visual Development, Layout, Background Artists and Character Designers: Gustaf TenggrenMary BlairMarjorie RalstonJoe GrantMel ShawClaude CoatsDon DaGradiJohn HenchEyvind EarleKen O'ConnorThor PutnamAlbert HurterJohn HubleyHerbert RymanDon GriffithBasil DavidovichJack Boyd
Storyboard Artists and Writers: Bill PeetRalph WrightDick HuemerFloyd NormanYale GraceyTed SearsErdman PennerJoe RinaldiWinston HiblerOtto EnglanderWilliam CottrellBill BergAl BertinoT. HeeHomer Brightman
Directors: Clyde GeronimiHamilton LuskeJack KinneyTed BermanRichard RichNathan GrenoGeorge ScribnerRiley Thomson
Producers: Walt DisneyRon MillerKen AndersonDon DuckwallPerce Pearce

Renaissance Directors: Rob MinkoffRoger AllersGary TrousdaleKirk WiseChris SandersMark DindalJohn Musker

Story Trust Directors: Ron ClementsChris BuckByron HowardDon HallChris WilliamsRich MooreStephen J. Anderson
Producers: Peter Del VechoClark SpencerRoy ConliDorothy McKimDon Hahn
Chief Creative Officer: Jennifer Lee
Associated Figures: Bob IgerRoy Edward DisneyMichael EisnerJohn LasseterEd CatmullJeffrey KatzenbergBob Chapek
Signature Voice Actors: Jim CummingsAlan TudykKatie LowesJohn DiMaggioMaurice LaMarcheJodi BensonDavid Ogden StiersJesse CortiPaul BriggsRaymond S. PersiPhil JohnstonFrank WelkerBill FarmerBrian Cummings
Signature Musicians: Sherman Brothers Robert B. Sherman Richard Sherman Alan Menken Kristen Anderson-Lopez Robert LopezLin-Manuel MirandaHoward AshmanTim RiceStephen SchwartzMarc Shaiman
Supervising Animators: Glen KeaneAndreas DejaAlex KupershmidtEric GoldbergMark HennJohn PomeroyRandy HaycockDale BaerT. Daniel HofstedtTony BancroftTom BancroftTony FucileAnthony DeRosaRuss EdmondsMichael SurreyBruce W.SmithDuncan MarjoribanksRuben AquinoNik RanieriRon HusbandRick FarmiloeTom SitoTony AnselmoRandy Cartwright
Visual Development & Storyboard Artists: Dean DeBloisLisa KeeneClaire KeaneBrittney LeeJin KimShiyoon KimCory Loftis

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