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Category: In Passing

Headline News

Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld Dies At Age 99

Artist Al Hirschfeld, one of the best known caricaturists in history, died in his sleep at his home in New York City on January 20, 2003. He was 99. Best known for his witty caricatures of actors and personalities, Hirschfeld's drawings also provided the inspiration for the "Rhapsody in Blue" segment of FANTASIA 2000. Directed by Eric Goldberg, the segment evoked New York in the 1930s. Hirschfeld, whose life was detailed in the 1996 documentary, THE LINE KING, was also well known in the American theater community.

Headline News

Mel Blanc's Widow Estelle Passes

Estelle Blanc, wife of legendary voice actor Mel Blanc, died Sunday, January 12, 2003 in Santa Monica, California of natural causes. She was 92. Born in Denver, Colorado, Estelle Rosenbaum began her career in early radio with soon-to-be husband Mel in 1932 in Portland, Oregon where they co-hosted a one-hour radio show called COBWEBS AND NUTS. Married in 1933, the couple moved to Los Angeles in 1936. There, Mel joined Warner Bros. where he gained fame as the signature voices of the characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester & Tweety, Tazmanian Devil, Wyle E.

Headline News

UPA Founder Zack Schwartz Has Died

Karl Cohen of ASIFA-SF has brought AWN the news that animator Zack Schwartz, one of the founders of UPA, passed away on January 13, 2003 in Israel. After working at Disney, most notably as an art director on BAMBI and FANTASIA, Schwartz went on to work under Frank Tashlin at Screen Gems and was a founder of UPA. In 1946, Schwartz sold his interest in the studio and moved to New York, where he worked in television advertising, eventually becoming an advertising agency executive.

Henson Headline News

Animator Tex Henson Dies At 78

William "Tex" Henson, who supervised animation on ROCKY & BULLWINKLE and was a force behind the popularity of CHIP 'N DALE, died Monday, December 2, 2002 of head injuries after being hit by a pickup truck in Dallas, Texas. He was 78 years old. Born in Dallas, Henson moved to California to join Disney Studios in 1944, where he was an animator on films such as SONG OF THE SOUTH, PECOS BILL and PETER AND THE WOLF. He was also one of the forces behind Chip & Dale's leap from bit players to outright stars. The chipmunk duo went on to star in 23 theatrical cartoons.

Headline News

Pixar Animator Glenn McQueen Passes

Glenn McQueen, supervising animator for some of Pixar's biggest hits, including A BUG'S LIFE and MONSTERS, INC., died on October 29, 2002 in Berkeley, California at the age of 41. The cause of death was melanoma, which he was diagnosed with in December 2001. McQueen had worked at Pixar since 1994, helping to create such memorable characters as Woody from TOY STORY and MONSTERS, INC.'s Boo. He was working as animation supervisor on Pixar's next animated feature CARS when he passed away.

Series Headline News

Batman Beyond Writer Hilary Bader Dies

Emmy-winning television writer Hilary Bader has died of breast cancer Thursday, November 7, 2002. She was 50 years old. Bader is probably best known as one of the writers of the Emmy and Annie award winning series BATMAN BEYOND, and has also penned scripts for Kids' WB! series THE ZETA PROJECT and the STAR TREK series THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE and VOYAGER.

Disney Headline News

Animator Tom Ferriter Passes Away At Age 74

The Animation Guild has informed AWN that animator Tom Ferriter has passed away at the age of 74. He started his animation career at Disney in 1955, and went on to work for Filmation, Hanna-Barbera, Krantz and Chuck Jones. He returned to Disney in 1976, where he remained until his retirement in 1990. Ferriter's credits include THE FLINTSTONES TV series and the feature films THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, THE FOX AND THE HOUND and THE WHITE SEAL.

Disney Headline News

Disney Composer Buddy Baker Dies At Age 84

Buddy Baker, a 29-year Disney veteran who composed the musical scores for nearly 200 Disney feature films, television shows and theme park attractions, passed away from natural causes on Friday, July 26, 2002, at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. He was 84 years old. Baker first came to the Disney Studio in 1954 and went on to compose music for such popular television shows as DAVY CROCKETT and THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. His theatrical credits include the featurette DONALD IN MATHMAGIC LAND, plus memorable scores for the three original WINNIE THE POOH offerings.

Headline News

Roger Ramjet Co-Writer Gene Moss Dies At 75

Gene Moss, co-writerof the classic '60s cartoon ROGER RAMJET, has died at age 75. REUTERSreports that Moss died of cancer on July 15, 2002 at the EisenhowerMedical Center in Rancho Mirage, California. After a career injournalism and as an advertising copywriter, Moss and his partner JimThurman teamed to co-write all 156 episodes of ROGER RAMJET, theshort-lived 1965 series that featured Gary Owens as the voice of thetitular hero who, with the American Eagle Squadron, battled Noodles

Disney Headline News

Legendary Animator Ward Kimball Passes

Ward Kimball, one of Disney's legendary Nine Old Men, passed away on July 8, 2002 from natural causes at Arcadia Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, California. He was 88 years old. Ward Kimball's work at Disney began in 1934, when he joined the animation staff at the age of twenty.

Disney Headline News

Disney Storyman Bill Peet Dead At Age 87

Bill Peet, author and illustrator of 35 children's books and the legendary Disney storyman who is credited with writing 101 DALMATIANS, passed away on Saturday, May 11, 2002 at the age of 87. He died at his home in Studio City due to complications from several long-term illnesses. Peet joined Disney Studios in 1937 at the age of 22. He went to work immediately as an apprentice animator on SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS.

Animation Headline News

Chuck Jones Passes Away At Age 89

Animation World Network is saddened to report that legendary animator/director Chuck Jones passed away on Friday, February 22, 2002 of congestive heart failure. He was 89 years old. Jones animation career, which spanned 60 years, took off in 1932 when Ub Iwerks hired him as a cel washer. In 1936 Jones became an animator for the Leon Schlesinger Studio (later sold to Warner Bros.), and in 1938 directed his first film, THE NIGHT WATCHMAN. Heading his own unit, Jones remained at Warner Bros. Animation Dept. until it closed in 1962.

Headline News

Storyboard Artist Tom Yakutis Dies

Storyboard artist and former Local 839 IATSE president Tom Yakutis died January 25, 2002 after a long illness. Yakutis began his career at Disney in 1956 and worked for Larry Harmon, Art Scott, UPA, TV Spots, DePatie-Freleng, Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, Warner Bros., Marvel and Universal before retiring in 1994. He was elected to several Local 839 Executive Boards in the '60s and '70s, and served as president from 1982 to 1983. There will be a memorial service and traditional Catholic High Mass (in Lithuanian) held February 6, 2002 at 11 am at St. Casimir Church, 2718 St.

Headline News

Oscar-Winning Animator Ernie Pintoff Passes

Oscar-winning animator Ernest Pintoff died Saturday, January 12, 2002 from complications related to a stroke. He was 70. Pintoff helped to define a new look for animation in the 1950's through his work at UPA and Terrytoons. While at UPA he worked on THE GERALD MCBOING BOING SHOW, the first animated program made especially for network television. Gene Deitch brought him to Terrytoons in 1957, where Pintoff created FLEBUS.

Award Headline News

Faith Hubley Dies at 77

Oscar-winning, independent animator Faith Hubley passed away in New Haven, Connecticut on Friday, December 7, 2001 of cancer. She was 77 years old. Hubley was a native of New York, where she and her husband John established Hubley Studio in 1955. Prior to Johns death in 1977, the Hubleys created 21 animated films together, including the Academy Award winners, HOLE, MOONBIRD and HERB ALPERT AND THE TIJUANA BRASS DOUBLE FEATURE. Faith Hubley collected many awards over her long career.

Headline News

Cartoonist Gray Morrow Passes

Illustrator and cartoonist Gray Morrow (born Dwight Graydon Morrow, 1934) passed away at his home in central Pennsylvania on Tuesday, November 6, 2001. Although he had suffered with health problems the last few years, his death was unexpected. "Gray was both a participant in and a witness to comics history," said Insight Studios Group's Mark Wheatley, who edited GRAY MORROW VISIONARY, published last summer. "He was a master illustrator who had the respect and friendship of his peers.

Headline News

Polish Animator Jan Lenica Dies

After battling a lengthy illness, the legendary Polish animator and artist, Jan Lenica died on October 5, 2001 in Berlin. He was 73 years old. Jan Lenica was born in 1928 in Poznan, Poland. He studied architecture at the Technical University of Warsaw. After leaving Poland, he moved to Paris and later to the U.S., where in 1974 he became a professor at Harvard University in Cambridge. In 1979 Lenica became the head of the animated films department at the University of Kassel in Germany.

Headline News

Computer Graphics Pioneer Robert Abel Dies

After an illustrious career in visual effects spanning more than 30 years, computer graphics pioneer Robert Abel passed away on Sunday, September 23, 2001. A legend in the visual effects community, Robert Abel was responsible for early innovations in computer graphics and special effects. In 1971 he founded Robert Abel and Associates with friend and collaborator Con Pederson. He began his early groundbreaking work in vector graphics and created the first motion-capture system in 1984. Bob later worked extensively in raster graphics that birthed 3D computer graphics as we know them today.

Police Headline News

Animator Billy Greene Victim Of Homicide

Award-winning stop-motion animator Billy Greene was found shot dead just outside of his apartment in the 4300 block of Adeline St. in Emeryville, California on September 10, 2001. He was 33 years old. Police say there was evidence the killer tried to remove his wallet, but had fled without it or its contents. His body was found just after midnight. No suspects were seen and no arrests have been made.

Series Headline News

Australian Cartoon Legend Russell Passes

Jim Russell, artist for Australia's THE POTTS comic strip, passed away on August 15, 2001. He was 92 years old. Russell held the world record for the longest running comic strip done by one artist unaided. For 62 years, he drew THE POTTS, which was created in 1920 by Stan Cross and was handed over to Russell in 1939. In the 1950s, Russell decided to liven up the series with the creation of Uncle Dick, who became the star of the series and is widely regarded as Russell's alter ego. He was a member of the National Cartoonists' Society in the U.S.

Headline News

Voice Actor Dave Barry Passes

Dave Barry, comedian and voice over actor, has passed away. He died on Thursday, August 16 at his Beverly Hills home. He was 82. Barry began his voice over work for Warner Bros. cartoons in the 1940s. He played Humphrey Bogart in BECALL TO ARMS (1946), SLICK HARE (1947) and 8 BALL BUNNY (1950). In 1958, Barry took over as the voice of Elmer Fudd after the death of Arthur Q. Bryan. He also voiced Bluto in POPEYE and also served in several PINK PANTHER shorts. He is survived by his wife, Ginny; a daughter, Wendy; and four sons, Alan, Dana, Kerry and Steve.

Music Headline News

Garfield Voice Actor Passes Away

Lorenzo Music, famous for providing his voice to Garfield, passed away on Saturday, August 4. He was 64 years old, and suffered from cancer. Music started in the entertainment industry as a writer on classic sitcoms like SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR, THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and THE BOB NEWHART SHOW. While working as a writer on RHODA, Music lent his voice talents as the unseen, perpetually intoxicated doorman, Carlton. He even went on to voice the pilot episode of the animated spin-off series CARLTON, YOUR DOORMAN, which failed to be picked up but won an Emmy for best animated special.

Disney Headline News

Black Cauldron Director Ted Berman Passes

Ted Berman, Disney animator and director of THE BLACK CAULDRON, passed away on Sunday, July 15, 2001. He was 81 years old. Berman started at Disney in 1940, and remained with the studio for 45 years. He started as a character animator working on BAMBI, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, FANTASIA, LADY AND THE TRAMP, PETER PAN, MARY POPPINS and 101 DALMATIANS. Berman was also a key member in creating the Disney television series, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR and THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB.

Music Headline News

Toon Musician Holaday Has Passed Away

William Kent "Kenny" Holaday, a musician and artist for feature and television animation for the past 20 years, died on June 22 at his Shadow Hills ranch of complications brought on by a thyroid condition. He was 49 year old. He started his animation career in 1975 as clean-up artist for Hanna-Barbera, and in 1980 moved to Disney Feature Animation in the same capacity. At Disney, he served as a clean-up artist or assistant animator on such feature films as PETE'S DRAGON, THE FOX AND THE HOUND, THE LION KING and TARZAN.