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Fleischer Animator Myron Waldman Dies

Myron Waldman, an animator and illustrator who worked at Fleischer Studios on BETTY BOOP, POPEYE, SUPERMAN and CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST shorts, died Feb. 4, 2006, at New Island Hospital in Bethpage, New York, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES. He was 97 and lived in Wantagh, New York. This family said the cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Born in Brooklyn, Waldman attended the Pratt Institute and was hired as an inker and fill-in artist by the Fleischer Studios in 1930. He was promoted to animator on the 1931 short BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON, one of Fleischer's long-running series of SCREEN SONGS famous for their "follow the bouncing ball" sing-along device. In his second assignment as an animator on WAIT TILL THE SUN SHINES, NELLIE in 1932, he first got to work with the Betty Boop character, who at the time was still a doglike with floppy ears.

While at Fleischer, Waldman would create Betty Boop's pet dog Pudgy and the donkey duo, Hunky and Spunky. He directed the two-reel RAGGEDY ANN AND RAGGEDY ANDY short as well as the second Fleischer feature, MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN.

But it was the box office failure of MR. BUG that would lead Fleischer backer Paramount to foreclose on the studio, which was reorganized in New York as Famous Studios.

Waldman stayed with the new company, but under Paramount's control, the studio was relegated to routine childrens shorts like BABY HUEY, HERMAN AND KATNIP, LITTLE LULU and CASPER.

Waldman left Famous in 1957, finding work in television. In his later years he traveled and lectured, created paintings for galleries and worked on a musical feature that never came to be.

In the 1990s he was honored with retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of the Moving Image and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

His wife, Rosalie, a cooking instructor whom he met when she was an animation checker at the Fleischer Studio in the early 1940s, survives him, as well as two sons Robert, a television writer and producer in New York, and Steve, a sales exec in Hollywood, Florida and three grandchildren.

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