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.
Category: In Passing
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.
Disney and Hanna-Barbera animtor Harry Holt passed away April 14, 2004. He was 93 years old.
Holt first went to work at Disney in 1936 during the hiring ramp up for production on SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. Trained at the studio, he started out as an apprentice and worked his way helping develop the feature. He would later help design scenes for LADY AND THE TRAMP.
After 20 years at Disney, he moved to Chicago to work in television production and art direction. Later he joined HB, where he worked on THE FLINTSTONES and TOM AND JERRY.
Richard P. Kempster, exec producer at visual effects and character animation at studio Kleiser-Walczak, died March 28, 2004 at his home in Seal Beach, California after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He was 57.
Mitsuteru Yokoyama, the cartoonist behind the classic manga GIGANTOR, passed away April 15, 2004 after suffering burns from a fire in his Tokyo home earlier in the day, reported KYODO NEWS. He was 69. The blaze was reported to police by his younger sister when she discovered his bed was on fire. The cause of the fire has not been determined. His other credits include RED SHADOW, JOHNNY SOKKO AND HIS FLYING ROBOT, MASKED NINJA AKAKAGE and SALLY, THE WITCH.
AWN is saddened to report that legendary animation educator and historian Bill Moritz passed away on March 12, 2004 after suffering a long illness.
Dr. William Moritz is a world-renowned expert on animation, experimental film and visual music, and has authored more than 100 articles, chapters and program notes. His forthcoming book OPTICAL POETRY is the culmination of his 34 years of research and work with the Fischinger Archive. OPTICAL POETRY reveals fully his passion for the Fischinger legacy, and fully details his decades of archival work on the films.
Voice actor Tony Pope, who gave voice to Goofy and the Wolf in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?, Detective Shunsaku Ban in the animated film METROPOLIS and Furby, an interactive toy that was the rage in 1998, has passed on at the age of 56. He died of complications following leg surgery Feb. 11, 2004 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.
Stage and voice actor Jason Raise died last week of an apparent suicide in Yass, Australia, reported Broadway.com. He was 28.
Raize voiced the character of Denahi from Disney's BROTHER BEAR. He made his Broadway breakthrough as the original Simba in the stage version of THE LION KING.
Raize is survived by his father Robert Rothenberg, mother Sarah MacArthur, sister Lisa Williams, stepmother Monet Rothenberg, stepfather Jim Kidd and four stepbrothers and two stepsisters.
Longtime Disney artist John Hench passed away on Feb. 5, 2004 after suffering heart failure after a brief illness and hospitalization at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He was 95 years old.
CAPTAIN KANGAROO host Bob Keeshan died in Montpelier, Vermont on Jan. 23, 2004, reports CNN. He was 76 and had been suffering from a long illness. Keeshan hosted the CBS children's show from 1955 to 1985. The classic UPA TOM TERRIFIC series, created by Gene Deitch, was created specifically to air on CAPTAIN KANGAROO. He started working in entertainment as a NBC page during high school. For five years, he played the silent Clarabell the Clown on THE HOWDY DOODY SHOW.
Veteran MAD magazine illustrator George Woodbridge has passed away, reported the ASSOCIATED PRESS. He died of emphysema on Jan. 20, 2004 at the age of 73. Starting as a freelance artist for MAD in 1957, Woodbridge was best known for his detailed pen-and-ink drawings. A perfectionist when it came to authenticity, he also contributed drawings for military history books, including the three-volume, AMERICAN MILITARY EQUIPAGE, 1851-1872.
Robert F. Enrietto, Jr., former production manager, assistant director, producer and, most recently, administrator of Columbia College Chicagos Semester in L.A. program, died of a heart attack during the holiday break (Dec. 27, 2003) while vacationing in Chicago. He was 62.
Guy Hudson, who worked on the visual effects for such notable projects as ALIEN, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, JURASSIC PARK and the DINOTOPIA TV series, passed away suddenly on Dec. 24, 2003 from a brain hemorrhage. He was 45 years old.
Hudson first came to Northern California in 1987 to work for Chris Walas Inc. Since then he has worked for such facilities as Disney, Henson Prods., Industrial Light & Magic and Western Images.
Wah Ming Chang, an Academy Award-winning animator and artist, died Dec. 22, 2003 in Carmel, California at the age of 86.
Some of his more notable works include a stop-motion animation production of THE THREE BEARS. Chang created posable wooden models of PINOCCHIO and BAMBI so that Disney animators could study body movements. He also contributed to BOZO THE CLOWN, TOM THUMB, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM and THE SEVEN FACES OF DR. LAO, reported Associated Press.
G.A. Menon, chairman of Toonz Animation India (Technopark, Trivandrum, India), died on Dec. 2, 2003 at the age of 72 of a heart attack he suffered on a Los Angelesbound flight from Singapore.
A native of Kerala, Menons career spanned more than 40 years in the global electronics business. He began his career at a statistician in the Thackersey Mooljee Group of textile mills in Bombay. Upon receiving his M.B.A. from Harvard, he held various managerial positions at IBM for 15 years.
TV Industry vet Linda Mancuso, svp, head of programming, ABC Family Channel, died Dec. 7, 2003 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles after a seven-year battle with cancer at the age of 44.
Linda made so many contributions to our industry. Her love of the creative process, talent and her team, were inspiring to everyone who came in contact with her, said Anne Sweeney, president, ABC Cable Networks Group and Disney Channel Worldwide. We will remember her warmth, humor and generosity of spirit forever.
Stage and voice actor Harry Goz passed away Sept. 6, 2003 at the age of 71 of cancer at a hospital in Manhasset, New York. Goz was the voice of Captain Murphy in the popular Adult Swim series SEALAB 2021, which airs on Cartoon Network
The co-creators of SEALAB 2021, Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, said in a statement, We are devastated by the loss of our good friend, Harry Goz. Working with him was always sheer joy, and his talent was beyond compare. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and we shall all miss him dearly.
Jonathan Brandis, who landed numerous roles as a child actor in television, commercials and film, including THE NEVERENDING STORY 2: THE NEXT CHAPTER, SEAQUEST DSV and was the voice of Mozenrath on DISNEYS ALADDIN TV series (1993), took his own life at the age of 27 and died Nov. 12, 2003 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Penny Singleton, the voice of Jane Jetson and the actress who brought the popular comic strip character Blondie to life in films, died Nov. 12, 2003 at Sherman Oaks Hospital, two weeks after suffering a stroke, at the age of 95.
Singleton was best known on camera for her role as the wife to bumbling husband, Dagwood Bumstead (played by Arthur Lake) in THE BLONDIE series, which had 28 films from 1938 to 1950. The films were based on the cartoon strip, created by Chic Young in 1930, about the misadventures of a small town family.