With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Kurt Russell officially joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one of the most valuable aspects of the massive Walt Disney Company. However, Russell's relationship with Disney has been going on for a very long time. In the 1960s as a child actor, Russell was signed to a 10-year contract to work for the studio and Russell ended up having a strong personal relationship with Walt Disney himself. In fact, it there's a long-held story that Walt Disney's last words were actually "Kurt Russell." According to the actor, the story is actually true...
They pulled me into the office a couple years after he died, and this woman --- who I don't believe it was his secretary, but it might've been, I don't know - pointed to [something he wrote] and she said, 'Do you know what that's about?' And I said, 'No, I don't.'[She said], 'Because he wrote something after it. But then he went back up and he wrote your name. That was the last thing he wrote.' And I said, 'Oh gee. I don't know what it's connected to.'
To this day the piece of paper with Kurt Russell's name on it is a complete mystery. Nobody knows what the meaning of it is. The actor was all of 15 years old at the time of Walt Disney's death and while Russell tells The Huffington Post that he and Disney were close, occasionally playing ping-pong or watching the various Disney projects being filmed on other sets together, nobody knows why Disney wrote down the young actor's name. Even Russell has no idea.
The most likely answer is that right up until his death Walt Disney was still working and he had an idea to cast Russell in some upcoming role that he was thinking about. Still, the real answer could be any number of things. It's clear that nobody was around at the time and thus there's no way that we'll ever have an answer to the question.
Walt Disney died of complications from lung cancer in December 1966. The company that he gave his name to was already a major force in TV and film, but it's unlikely even he had any indication that it could become the force that it has. After purchasing Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, Disney has become the dominant force in pop culture. Theme parks now cover the world and last year Disney set a record for global box office gross.
The mystery of why some of Walt Disney's thoughts were about Kurt Russell will likely never be answered, but considering the fact that he was close to the young actor, he'd probably be happy to see that Russell made an incredible career for himself, and is back in the Disney fold thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The new movie opens Friday.