Many audio and video biographies of Walt Disney have pulled clips or sound bytes from a 1963 interview conducted by Fletcher Markle, an actor-announcer-writer-producer-director who had just finished directing Disney’s The Incredible Journey.
Markle began his career in radio, working in later Orson Welles Mercury Theatre productions, where he met actress Mercedes McCambridge, whom he married in 1950. While working in radio on Studio One, the program made the transition to television, and so did Markle. His later credits include directing and producing episodes of Boris Karloff’s Thriller.
For all his industry savvy, Markle appears a little stiff and formal during the interview with Disney. This may have simply been his style, since his affect is nearly identical in other interviews he conducted, most notably with Alfred Hitchcock on the set of Marnie, probably shot just before or after the Disney interview. (From time to time, it sounds like Markle’s cadences and pronunciation result from an effort to sound like Orson Welles!) There are few cutaways to Markle during the single-camera interview; the focus stays on Disney in long takes, making this 30 minute conversation a rare and illuminating glimpse of Disney in his 60’s.