“Growing up in Disneyland” is part biography about Ron’s father, actor Don DeFore, and his own autobiography. Don DeFore earned a star on Hollywood Boulevard and was a household name in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. He co-starred in numerous feature films with many Hollywood legends, TV shows, and on live theater and is best known for “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” in which he played the next-door-neighbor, “Thorny,” and his co-starring role as “Mr. B” in the 1960’s TV series, “Hazel.” The book includes much of Don’s unpublished autobiography, “Hollywood – DeFore ‘n After.”
“Growing up in Disneyland” is a metaphor for Ron DeFore’s life growing up in a celebrity family filled with “Fantasyland” adventures he equates to a “Forrest Gump” type life, from meeting the Beatles, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, and other celebrities as Associate Director of the Steve Allen Show. His nearly 20 careers include a mid-life crisis as the “Flying DJ” at an L.A. discotheque to political positions within the Reagan Presidential Administration to establishing his own company. “Growing up in Disneyland” is also to be taken literally, as Ron spent much of his youth in Disneyland where his father owned Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue restaurant in Frontierland. Ron and his brother, Dave, have given presentations to various Disneyland interest groups after which many attendees suggested, “you should write a book.”
“Growing up in Disneyland” will be enjoyed by any age group from baby-boomers that remember Don DeFore’s many beloved acting roles to those that don’t but are curious how life was in “the good-old-days,” especially growing up in a Hollywood celebrity family. Ron has had so many careers and adventures along the way that readers will have much to keep them from putting the book down.