Actor John Vernon passed away in his sleep on Feb. 1, 2005, at his Los Angeles home. He was 72 years old. The death is attributed to complications from heart surgery he had on Jan. 16. His animation work included Rupert Thorne on BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, and Major Glenn Talbot, Sub-Mariner and Iron Man on THE MARVEL SUPERHEROES SHOW as well as WILDFIRE (1986), THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1996-97), PINKY AND THE BRAIN (1995-98) and HEAVY METAL (1981). Vernon is best known for his role as Dean Wormer in 1978's ANIMAL HOUSE.
Category: In Passing
Legendary comics and graphic novel artist and writer Will Eisner died Jan. 3, 2005, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the age of 87, following complications from quadruple heart bypass surgery, reports Bob Andelman, author of the upcoming authorized biography, WILL EISNER: A SPIRITED LIFE.
A comics artist since the 1930s, Eisner was the first to use "silent" balloonless panels to show characters' emotions by focusing attention on their accentuated facial expressions.
Actor Jerry Orbach, who voiced Lumiere in Disneys BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, has died of prostate cancer at 69 in Manhattan on Dec. 28, 2004. Orbach is best known for his work on TV and the stage. He starred as veteran cop Det. Lennie Briscoe on LAW & ORDER and was the original narrator in the off-off-Broadway hit THE FANTASTICKS, which ran for more than 40 years.
John Parr Miller, an early animator for Walt Disney and best-selling children's books illustrator, died on Oct. 29, 2004, in Long Island, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES. He was 91 and lived in Manhasset, New York. His death was announced by his family.
J. P. Miller is best known for his work on the Little Golden Books line of books. His THE LITTLE RED HEN is still a perennial seller, despite being published a half a century ago.
Comedian and voice actor Dayton Allen died on Nov. 11, 2004 at age 85. Animation fans will remember him most as the voices of Heckle and Jeckle. Born Dayton Allen Bolke, he was a native of New York and he got into show business, following the path of his boyhood friend, Art Carney. Both broke into radio in their teens as disc jockeys and specialists in funny voices. Dayton used his skills on early children's TV shows, dubbing in voices for puppets and often appearing on camera.
Alexandra Tholance, press attaché for CARTOON, passed away Nov.7, 2004, after a long battle with breast cancer.
Alexandra Tholance, press attaché for CARTOON during the past decade, passed away Nov.7, 2004, after a long battle with breast cancer.
Her family has organized a religious ceremony Nov. 10 at 3:00 pm at the Notre Dame Church in Villerupt, the little village east of France near the Belgium/Luxembourg border where she lived with her companion Alain Berberi.
Ivor Wood, the animator who worked on some of the best-loved children's television programs, including THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT, THE WOMBLES, PADDINGTON and POSTMAN PAT, has died in London, reports THE TIMES. He was 72 years old.
Animation checker and actress Kathrin Victor, who was also known as Kathrin Leichliter, died on Oct. 22, 2004 in Los Angeles from complications after a stroke at the age of 81. From 1960 until her retirement in 2000 she worked for Graphic Arts, Snowball, DeTiege, Eagle, Creston, Hanna-Barbera, DePatie-Freleng, Filmation, Don Bluth, Box Office Originals and Disney TV Animation.
Actor Christopher Reeve, star of four SUPERMAN films and real life hero after becoming paralyzed from the neck down, died Oct. 10, 2004, in Bedford, New York, from heart failure at the age of 52.
The great-looking lead of four SUPERMAN films, THE BOSTONIANS, SOMEWHERE IN TIME and THE REMAINS OF THE DAY became a quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair when he broke his neck and injured his spinal cord when he was thrown from a horse in an equestrian event in 1995.
Famed comedian Rodney Dangerfield passed away on Oct. 5, 2004. He was 82. The "I don't get no respect" funnyman had fallen into a coma after undergoing heart surgery on Aug. 25. His publicist said in a statement that Dangerfield suffered a small stroke after the operation and developed infectious and abdominal complications. But in the past week he had emerged from the coma.
"When Rodney emerged, he kissed me, squeezed my hand and smiled for his doctors," Dangerfield's wife, Joan, said in the statement.
Bob Scarabelli, Rainmaker Income Fund president/ceo, has passed away from natural causes. Scarabelli worked for Rainmaker for the past 25 years, growing it into one of North America's leading post-production facilities.
Joel Schneider, a pioneering force in educational programming, died of cancer on Sept. 12, 2004 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He was 61 years old.
Schneider served as content director for CRO, an animated science series broadcast by ABC on Saturday mornings. Recently, he served as vp for education and research at Sesame Workshop, where he focused on activities in China, including the development of a new planetarium show with a SESAME STREET theme. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of Kami, the first HIV-positive Muppet.
Frank Thomas, who helped pioneer the animated art form as a member of Walt Disneys elite Nine Old Men, passed away Wednesday night at his home in Flintridge, California. He celebrated his 92nd birthday on Sunday with family and friends, including director Brad Bird, who honored Thomas and lifelong friend and colleague Ollie Johnston the last of the Nine Old Men with cameo appearances in both THE IRON GIANT and Disney/Pixars THE INCREDIBLES.
Prolific composer Elmer Bernstein, who wrote music for more than 250 film and television productions, including Disneys animated feature, THE BLACK CAULDRON, died Aug. 18, 2004, during his sleep at his home in Ojai, California, at the age of 82.
David Raksin, the Oscar-nominated composer wrote the memorable theme for 1944's LAURA, and scored several classic UPA cartoons in the 1950s, died Aug. 9. 2004, at the age of 92.
ASSOCIATED PRESS reported that Raksin, who had been ailing for several years and had early stage Alzheimer's disease, died at his home in Van Nuys, California, according to his son, Alex Raksin.
Jackson Beck, the voice-over master of the SUPERMAN radio show, has died, reports NEWSDAY. He was 92. Beck died at about 6:00 am July 28, 2004 of complications of old age, according to Jeff David, a friend. He had been ill after suffering a series of small strokes four or five years ago, David said.
Sam McKim, the legendary Disney Imagineer who drew the first souvenir maps of Disneyland in 1954, died of heart failure on July 9, 2004 at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He was 79 years old. In addition to his Disney career, McKim started out as a child actor who appeared in films with John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, James Cagney, Rita Hayworth and Gene Autry.
Ronald "Gillie" Potter, the man who revolutionized digital effects in U.K. advertising, passed away May 25, 2004, reports THE GUARDIAN. He was 80 years old. Potter invented the device of having live-action sequences taking place on a moving product shot. He was involved in the production of more than 2,000 ads, including classic commercials for Rolo, Vicks Vapour Rub, Quaker Oats, Nesquick and Shredded Wheat. His special effects work can also be seen in feature films such as THE LAST EMPEROR, SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE and JURASSIC PARK.
Danny Dark, the voice of Superman in the SUPERFRIENDS animated series as well as announcer for StarKist Tuna, Budweiser and many other national brands in television and radio commercials, died on June 13, 2004 in Los Angeles at the age of 65.
The cause of death was bleeding in the lungs, said Dark's brother, the Rev. Robert Croskery, according to the NEW YORK TIMES.
In the StarKist commercials, he told Charlie Tuna, "sorry, Charlie." Dark said, "This Bud's for you" in Budweiser spots, and "Raid kills bugs dead," in commercials for Raid Ant & Roach Killer.
Donald Edmund Trumbull, a two-time winner of the Academy's Sci-Tech Award has died, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. He was 95. He died June 7, 2004 of natural causes at his daughter's home in Graeagle, California.
Edith Rudman, founder of the first gallery in the nation specializing in animation art, passed away on May 25, 2004 from cancer. She was 62 years old. Many credit her as starting the animation art industry.
Cartoonist Gilbert T. "Gill" Fox, who helped launched characters like Plastic Man and the Spirit, died May 15, 2004 in Redding Ridge, Connecticut, reported the NEW YORK TIMES. He was 88 years old.
Fox worked as an editor, artist and writer at Quality Comics from 1940 to 1943, where he drew covers for Dollman and edited POLICE COMICS, which featured Jack Cole's Plastic Man. He also pen-and-inked TORCHY, a comic book created by the pin-up artist Bill Ward.
Jack Bradbury, animator/comic book artist best known for his work with Walt Disney's characters in both media, died of kidney failure at a nursing home in Sylmar, California, May 15, 2004, at the age of 89, it was reported in the LOS ANGELES TIMES.
A native of Seattle, he started at Disney in the mid-1930s and worked his way up to a full animator position, working on such famous shorts as Ferdinand the Bull and on memorable features, including FANTASIA, BAMBI and PINOCCHIO.
Lee Orgel, animation producer and veteran of Broadway, television and the film industry, passed away at his home in Burbank, California, of emphysema on May 12, 2004 at the age of 78.
The New Jersey native began his career 60 years ago as the stage manager for MGMs live presentations at the Capitol Theater in New York, after which he became one of the pioneers of television while continuing to produce on Broadway.