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Category: In Passing

Headline News

Emmy-Nominated Voice-Actor Tony Jay Passes Away

Deep-voiced actor Tony Jay, whose many roles included villainous Judge Frollo in Disney's 1996 THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, died Sunday following microsurgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his lungs.

The British-born Jay, who provided voices in many videogames, was admitted to Cedar Sinai Hospital in April and had begun to recover both his breathing and mobility.

Headline News

VO Actor Peter Hawkins Passes Away

Peter Hawkins, a British actor who voiced characters that ranged from THE FLOWERPOT MEN to the sinister Daleks on DR. WHO, has died, reports various news outlets. He was 82.

Hawkins started as a stage actor after his World War II service in the Navy. After working in conventional roles on TV, he moved into voice over in the 1950s on the children's puppet shows THE FLOWERPOT MEN, which featured two creatures with legs made from flower pots.

Series Headline News

Voice Actor Lennie "Pufnstuf" Weinrib Dies at 71

Voice actor Lennie Weinrib, whose most famed role was as the title character in the 1969 live-action series, H.R. PUFNSTUF (which he also co-wrote), died June 28, 2006, at his home in Chile. He was 71 years old.

For his animation career, Weinrib provided the voice for Scooby's impetuous nephew Scrappy-Doo in SCOOBY-DOO AND SCRAPPY-DOO (1979) and THE SCOOBY AND SCRAPPY-DOO PUPPY HOUR (1982). He was also in the voice cast of the first Scooby series, SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU! (1969) and THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES (1972).

Animation Headline News

I&P Artist Suzi Dalton Passes Away at 95

Ink-and-paint artist Suzi Dalton died April 10, 2006, at the age of 95, The Animation Guild website reports. She received a Golden Award from The Animation Guild Local 839 in 1985, for her then 50 years in her craft.

From 1934, until her retirement in 1973, she worked as an inker, drybrush artist and final checker for numerous studios, including Boyd LaVero, Mintz, Warners, Iwerks, MGM, Betty Brenon, Lantz, Snowball, Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, Celine Miles, Bakshi-Krantz and Cannawest.

Animation Headline News

Assistant Animator Kimie Calvert Dies

Assistant animator Kimie Calvert, the wife of director and producer Fred Calvert, has passed away. The Animation Guild Local 839 just reported her passing, which was on Dec. 23, 2005.

With a career spanning from 1956 until 2003, Calvert worked for Filmfair, Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Fred Calvert, Rich Animation, Baer Animation, Warner Bros., Amblimation, Hyperion and Calvert-Cobbler.

She was an animator for the Disney feature THE TIGGER MOVIE (2000).

Comics Headline News

Alex Toth Dies at 77

Comicbook and animation maverick Alex Toth died May 27 at his drawing table at home in Burbank, reported THE L.A. TIMES. He was 77.

"For 50 years he did what he wanted to do smoke cigarettes, sit on the couch and draw," his daughter Dana Palmer said. "But in his final year there was such a great spirit in him, and he had made peace with everybody on Earth that he needed to make peace with."

Toth is best known for his character designs for such Hanna-Barbera productions as SUPERFRIENDS, SPACE GHOST and HERCULOIDS.

Effects Headline News

Bluescreen Developer Arthur Widmer Dies at 92

Arthur Widmer, who developed some of the most widely used visual effects technology in films, including the bluescreen, and earned an Academy Award last year for lifetime achievement, died of cancer on May 28. He was 92.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave Widmer the award for his work in developing Ultra Violet and bluescreen effects processes.

Headline News

CG Pioneer Bill Kovacs Passes Away

Bill Kovacs, who co-founded Wavefront Technologies, earned a 1997 Academy Award for science and engineering innovations and who worked as a programmer on TRON, passed away last Tuesday at his home in Camarillo, California. Kovacs, who was 56, died of a stroke in his sleep brought on by a cerebral hemorrhage.

Headline News

Animation Producer Edward Herskovitz Dies

Veteran animation producer Edward Herskovitz died May 22, 2006, at his home in Rishon Le'Zion, Israel. He was 85.

Herskovitz worked as an animation producer in Japan during the 1970s. He was one of the founding members of ASIFA-Japan. He collaborated on many international co-productions, making France his second home.

He was born in Egypt in 1921, after his parents moved there when WWI reached what later became Israel. He joined a traveling circus in his youth, eventually settling down in Japan. After a stroke, he moved to Israel.

Series Headline News

H-B Writer/Producer Harvey Bullock Passes Away

Harvey Bullock, a prolific comedy writer and producer of film and TV, has passed away. Affected by a series of age-related illnesses, he died on Sunday, April 23, 2006, in Laguna Beach, California, with his family by his side. He was 84.

Bullock worked in animation on several Hanna-Barbera series. He was a writer on THE FLINTSTONES, THE JETSONS, TOP CAT, WELCOME TO IT and WHERE'S HUDDLES? He was the creator, exec producer and writer for the classic 1970s adult animated series, WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME.

Film Headline News

Famous Czech Documentarist/Animator Pavel Koutecky Dies

Renowned Czech documentary filmmaker Pavel Koutecky died after falling from a high building under construction in the Prague-Pankrac neighborhood while filming is latest film, reports the public Czech Television (CT). He was 49.

The police spokesman told CT that Koutecky had been reported missing since Friday (April 14, 2006) night. Script editor Alena Muellerova said that Koutecky was shooting a documentary about a young man who climbs high buildings.

Series Headline News

Animation Director Brad Case Dies

Animator/director Brad Case died March 19, 2006. He was 93.

His career spanned from 1934 until his retirement in 1999, having worked for Iwerks, Disney, MGM, Lantz, Raphael Wolff, Sutherland, Paul Fennell, Tempo, Calvin Co., Academy, ERA Prods., Hanna-Barbera, Larry Harmon, UPA, Warner Bros., Nicholson, Sanrio, DePatie-Freleng, Marvel, Graz Ent. and New World.

Disney Headline News

Richard Fleischer, Director of 20,000 Leagues, Dies

Richard Fleischer, who directed almost 50 movies, died of natural causes on March 25, 2006, at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, said his son Mark. He was 89.

Son of famed animator Max Fleischer, he would direct 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA for Walt Disney, whose named was not spoken in their home. Max told his son that the opportunity was too important to pass up.

The lavishly produced 1954 live-action adaptation of the Jules Verne adventure was a box office hit and moved Fleischer from B-movies to the big time

Headline News

Voice Actor Papenbrook Passes Away

Voice actor Bob Papenbrook passed away on March 17, 2006, due to complications from a chronic lung condition, reports He was 50 years old. Papenbrook (sometimes credited as "John Smallberries") was a frequent performer in a voice acting roles, including POWER RANGERS ZEO, TENCHI MUYO and GUNGRAVE. Extensively working on dubbing anime imports, his most recent work can be heard as Capt. Blue in the VIEWTIFUL JOE TV series. He is survived by his wife Debbie Rothstein and son Bryce Papenbrook.

Headline News

Oscar-Winning Actress Maureen Stapleton Dies

Maureen Stapleton, who won an Academy Award in 1981 for her supporting role as anarchist activist Emma Goldman in Warren Beatty's REDS, died March 13, 2006. She was 80. The longtime smoker died from chronic pulmonary disease in Lenox, Massachusetts, in the Berkshire hills, where she had been living, son Daniel Allentuck said.

Films Headline News

Walerian Borowczyk, Surrealist Auteur, Dies

Walerian Borowczyk, an internationally known surrealist filmmaker, died of heart trouble on Feb. 3, 2006, in Paris, where he had resided since the late 1950s, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES. He was 82.

Originally trained as a painter and graphic artist, he made several dozen films, both animated and live-action, in the decades after World War II. Terry Gilliam, Jan Svankmajer and the Brothers Quay site him as an influence.

Home Headline News

Dennis Weaver, 81, Has Passed Away

Dennis Weaver, who played limping deputy Chester Goode in GUNSMOKE and the intelligent New Mexico deputy solving crime in the Big Apple in TV's MCCLOUD, died Friday, Feb. 24, 2006. He was 81 years old. Weaver died at his home in Ridgway, in southwestern Colorado, of complications from cancer, publicist Julian Myers said Monday.

Headline News

Don Knotts Dies at 81

Don Knotts, who became a TV icon on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW playing bumbling deputy Barney Fife, passed away on Friday, Feb. 24, 2006, at the age of 81. Knotts died of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills.

In the world of animation, Knotts is most remembered as the title character in live-action 2D animation hybrid, THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET, where he played a meek clerk who turns into a fish after the Navy rejects him.

Headline News

Crave Ent.’s "Chip" VanDeVelde Passes Away

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 23, 2006 at 12:00am

Mark "Chip" VanDeVelde, vp at Crave Ent., passed away on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006. VanDeVelde was part of the SVG Distribution / Crave Ent. since 1998.

Before coming to Crave, VanDeVelde served as the national sales manager for Konami.

Visitation will be held at the McDonald-Allen-Grennan Funeral Home on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm and the funeral service will be held on Friday, Feb. 24, at 10:00 am at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Murder Headline News

Two Men Arrested in Curious George Writer’s Murder

National news outlets are reporting that police have arrested two men in connection with the murder this week of CURIOUS GEORGE collaborator Alan J. Shalleck.

Rex Ditto, 29, and Vincent Puglisi, 54, were arrested shortly before midnight on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006, and were later charged with murder.

A lawn-maintenance man found Shallecks body in his driveway Tuesday morning, covered with black trash bags. The body had been lying there for more than a day.

Headline News

Curious George Writer Possibly Murdered

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 8, 2006 at 12:00am

News reports coming out of Florida are reporting that the death of CURIOUS GEORGE writer Alan J. Shalleck is being investigated as a homicide.

THE PALM BEACH POST writes that Shalleck's bloodied body lay under garbage bags in his driveway for more 24 hours until it was found early Tuesday morning. He lived in a mobile home at the Royal Manor Estates, a senior citizen retirement village. He had worked at a local outlet of Borders Books & Music, but had not showed up for work in two days.

Headline News

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.

Headline News

Two-time Oscar Winner Shelly Winters Dies

Shelley Winters, one of only two women to win two Oscars for Best Supporting Actress, died on the morning of Jan. 14, 2006, in Beverly Hills, California. She was 85.

For the animation community, Winters played Lena Gogan in Disneys 1977 live-action animated hybrid PETE'S DRAGON. She lent her voice to Crystal the Snowgirl (Mrs. Frosty) in the 1976 Rankin-Bass Prods. special FROSTY'S WINTER WONDERLAND and reprised the role in the 1979 feature, RUDOLPH AND FROSTY'S CHRISTMAS IN JULY.

Headline News

Hamilton Camp Memorial Service Set

An official Los Angeles memorial service for Hamilton Camp has been set for Jan. 22, 2006, at 2:00 pm at The Improv in Hollywood. Entitled, " Hamid Hamilton Camp: An Afternoon of Stories, Songs and Memories," the presentation will celebrate the life of performer, singer, songwriter and Smurf voice over actor Hamilton Camp (aka Bob Camp and Hamid Hamilton Camp) who died on Oct. 2, 2005, in Los Angeles, at the age of 70.

Charlie Headline News

Designer Charles McElmurry Passes Away

Designer/illustrator Charles O. McElmurry passed away Dec. 5, 2005, at the age of 84 in Santa Rosa, California. McElmurry grew up in Los Angeles and attended Chouinard Art Institute. He began his career in the animation industry at Walt Disney in 1942, but was soon drafted into the Marine Corps and sent to Quantico, Virginia. He spent the war years in a film unit there. He attended Chouinard Art Institute on the GI bill.

He later worked for many independent studios in New York, France, and California including Quartet Films, Jay Ward, Cartoon Farm and Bill Melendez.