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The voices of the Marvel Cinematic Universe remember Stan Lee

Kevin Feige and Chris Evans herald the work of the Marvel icon

kevin feige and stan lee
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige (left) and executive producer Stan Lee attend the Avengers: Infinity War premiere on April 23, 2018, in Hollywood, California.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney

On Monday, Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee died at the age of 95, leaving the comics industry — and the other sides of the entertainment business he influenced — in mourning. Not only was Lee a co-creator of some of the most famous superheroes of all time, his work persevered over the ages, becoming fodder for one of Hollywood’s most epic tentpole franchises: the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige remarked on Twitter. “Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and his millions of fans.”

Feige, well aware of what he owed Lee professionally and spiritually, made room for the writer in nearly every Marvel movie. Though Lee filmed a cameo for Blade that ultimately wound up on the cutting room floor, his first appearance was in 2000’s X-Men, running a hot dog stand as a mutated Senator Kelly emerges from the ocean. Lee saved the day in 2002’s Spider-Man, pulling a girl away during Green Goblin’s first big attack.

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe emerged with 2008’s Iron Man, Feige gifted Lee a Tony-worthy cameo: playing a Hugh Hefner type walking the gala with three bombshell blondes on his arms. Future MCU cameos would bring him down to Earth: In The Avengers, Lee appears on a newscast exclaiming how it was next to impossible that there’d be superheroes in New York; in Captain America: Civil War, he appears as a FedEx delivery man who mistakenly refers to Tony Stark as “Tony Stank.” The creme de la creme of Lee cameos might have been his brief appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in which the comics titan appears as an astronaut regaling the alien entities known as The Watchers about his adventures on Earth — a scene that prompted serious theorizing about his place in the universe.

“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement. “A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”

As reactions came rolling in, several MCU stars also voiced their tributes to Lee. Polygon will update this story as more cast and crew share their memories.

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