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“A Fatal Trio of Drugs”: Autopsy Results Revealed in Death of Disney Exec

man with four children and trees in background

The autopsy results in the death of a former Disney executive have been made public, revealing his cause of death.

Disney Head of Distribution Dave Hollis speaks onstage at CinemaCon 2017 on March 28, 2017 in Las Vegas.

Dave Hollis speaks at CinemaCon in 2017/Credit: NBC

Dave Hollis was pronounced dead in his home in Dripping Springs, Texas, near the capital city of Austin, on Sunday afternoon, February 12, 2023, and according to Hays County Justice of the Peace Andrew Cable, an autopsy was to be performed to determine Hollis’s cause of death. He was “youthful and didn’t have a long medical history,” per Justice Cable. Hollis was 47 at the time of his death and left behind four children, an ex-wife with whom he still co-parented and ran a successful self-help business.

In an Instagram post just two days after his death, Hollis’s former spouse Rachel Hollis shared her grief and asked for prayer as she and her children attempted to “navigate through the unthinkable.”

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Rachel Hollis (@msrachelhollis)

“We are devastated,” she wrote. “I have no words, and my heart is too broken.”

According to an autopsy report from the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, Hollis had a “fatal trio of drugs” in his system at the time of his death: cocaine, fentanyl, and alcohol. The medical examiner ruled his death an accidental overdose. Hollis reportedly had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as a medical history of depression, high blood pressure, and hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which causes blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart to narrow and harden over time.

Hollis, who had been the head of distribution for Disney before he left the company in 2018 to join his wife’s business, had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, high blood pressure, and hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to the autopsy.

Dave Hollis - New Jersey Angels

Dave Hollis with his four children/Credit: New Jersey Angels

Dave Hollis worked for The Walt Disney Company for almost two decades. In 2011, he became Disney’s Head of Distribution and was instrumental in launching many of Disney’s most successful film franchises, including Frozen, Black Panther, Star Wars, the Avengers series, and others. He led theatrical distribution at The Walt Disney Company until 2018, when he stepped down and relocated to Texas with his family. He went on to play a more active role in the company he owned with his then-wife Rachel called Chic Media.

Together, the two collaborated on podcasts and presented successful self-help conferences. They divorced in 2020 but remained close friends and continued to run Chic Media together.

Dave Hollis Wife: Meet Rachel Hollis

Credit: GH Gossip

In 2020, Hollis also released his own book, Get Out of Your Own Way. The next year, he released another book, titled Built Through Courage: Face Your Fears to Live the Life You Were Meant For, and he also wrote a children’s book.

Hollis is survived by his four children–three sons and a daughter: Jackson, Sawyer, Ford, and Noah.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!