Category: In Passing

Headline News Studio B Producer Pimm Dies

Earlier this week, Studio B lost producer Richard Pimm, who passed away on September 24, 2008. Pimm, 60, was a known animation producer throughout Canada and the world.

For more than 30 years, Pimm worked for many of the world's leading animation companies, including Nelvana, Disney and Lucasfilm. He also spent 12 years working as an overseas supervisor in Korea, Taiwan, China, Wales, Thailand and the Philippines, where he was the General Manager for Toon City.

Headline News Peanuts Animator and Director Bill Melendez Dies at 91

Bill Melendez, considered a pioneer in animation and best known for bringing the PEANUTS characters to life, died early Tuesday morning September 2 at St. John's hospital in Santa Monica, California. He was 91.

With his trade mark handle bar mustache, Melendez was a talent whose unique style and distinct sense of humor inspired a generation.

Melendez began his career at Walt Disney Studios. As a young animator he worked on PINOCCHIO, FANTASIA, BAMBI, DUMBO and classic Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons.

Headline News Former Animation Studio Head Morris Sullivan Dies

Morris Sullivan, who helped establish the Irish animation studio responsible for AN AMERICAN TAIL and THE LAND BEFORE TIME, has died in Toluca Lake, California at age 91, according to a LOS ANGELES TIMES obituary.

Sullivan ran a financial consulting firm before he helped found Sullivan Bluth Studios in 1985 with Don Bluth and other former Disney animators, who had produced several shorts and the feature THE SECRET OF NIMH but went bankrupt in 1984. Sullivan Bluth produced AN AMERICAN TAIL in 1986, and the studio was moved to Ireland to produce films more cost-efficiently.

Headline News Ex-WB Voice Actor Greg Burson Dies At 59

Voice actor Greg Burson, who once was the main replacement voice on Bugs Bunny and other characters voiced by Mel Blanc, died July 22 at age 59, according to THE BIG CARTOON FORUM.

His death was due to complications from diabetes and arteriosclerosis. However, "obviously, drinking had a lot to do with it," according to Mark Evanier, who directed Burson in three TV series.

Headline News First Female Disney Imagineer Dies

Harriet Burns, the first woman designer hired at Walt Disney Imagineering, has died at 79, according to a LOS ANGELES TIMES obituary. Burns helped create and build prototypes for Disneyland attractions like the SLEEPING BEAUTY CASTLE and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.

Burns, a Santa Barbara, California resident, died of complications from a heart condition July 25 at USC University Hospital, said her daughter, Pam Burns-Clair.

Headline News Big Bird Costume Creator Dies

Costume designer Kermit Love, who helped puppeteer Jim Henson create Big Bird and other SESAME STREET, has died at age 91, per the ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Love died from congestive heart failure Saturday in Poughkeepsie, near his home in Stanfordville, New York, Love's longtime partner, Christopher Lyall, told THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Headline News Oscar-Winning VFX Artist Stan Winston Dies

News outlets are reporting Stan Winston, who won three vfx effects Oscars over the course of his career, is dead at age 62.

Per the LOS ANGELES TIMES, Winston died at his home Sunday evening after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, according to a spokeswoman from Stan Winston Studios.

"Stan died peacefully at home surrounded by family," a spokeswoman said.

Headline News Comic Actor Harvey Korman Dies

Comedian and voice actor Harvey Korman, 81, died Thursday, media outlets are reporting.

Korman, who voiced The Great Gazoo on THE FLINTSTONES, as well as dozens of guest voices on animated shows in his 47 year career, died at UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago, his family said. He had undergone several major operations, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Headline News Children's TV Creator Dies Unexpectedly

Pineapple Squared Ent's Creative Director David Mitton died from a sudden heart attack last week. At the time of his death Mitton was overseeing a number of Pineapple Squared's projects including the animated epic for boys, ADVENTURES ON ORSUM ISLAND.

Television industry stalwart Mitton worked for the THUNDERBIRDS creator Gerry Anderson in the 1960s as a special effects floor technician on THUNDERBIRDS. It was there that he met Pineapple Squared's Supervising Director David Lane.

Headline News Hazel Comic Strip Creator Ted Key Dies

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that cartoonist Ted Key, creator of the comic strip HAZEL, has died at the age of 95.

Key's son, Peter Key confirmed to the AP that Key died at his home on Saturday in the Philadelphia suburb of Tredyffrin Township after a 1 1/2-year battle with cancer.

HAZEL, about a bossy maid, debuted in THE SATURDAY EVENING POST in 1943 and evolved into a primetime TV series starring Shirley Booth in the 1960s on NBC and CBS.

Headline News Animator And Director Andy Knight Dies

Veteran animator and director Andy Knight died last week, according to Cartoon Brew and several other blog sites.

Knight, 46, died of a stroke on April 10. He co-founded Toronto animation studio Red Rover in 1994 and had an extensive career in Europe and Canada.

A Facebook page has been set up to collect memories of Knight from his friends and family.

Headline News Disney Legend Ollie Johnston Dies

Ollie Johnston, the last surviving animator of Disney's famed Nine Old Men, passed away April 14, 2008. Johnston worked for the Mouse House from 1935 to 1978, working as an animator on such classics as SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, FANTASIA, BAMBI and PINOCCHIO. He last worked on THE RESCUERS, a film for which he was caricatured as the cat Rufus.

Headline News Pixar Storyboard Artist Dies at Age 27

Several blog sites are reporting that Justin Wright, who had been with Pixar in the story department for just more than a year, has died at age 27 from a heart attack.

His Pacific Union College alumni profile details Wright's journey to Pixar and his ultimately life-ending struggle with heart problems on Tuesday evening.

While in the hospital revering from a heart transplant at age 12, Wright drew pictures, something his doctor at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital took note of, and took him on a Pixar tour.

Headline News The Rocketeer Creator Dies

THE ROCKETEER creator Dave Stevens passed away on March 10, 2008, from complications due to leukemia. He was 52 years old. The comic book illustrator's style captured the good girl quality of 1950s pin-ups.

Stevens began his career working on newspaper comic strips, including TARZAN OF THE APES and STAR WARS. For Hanna-Barbera, Stevens storyboarded such series as JANA OF THE JUNGLE and SUPER FRIENDS.

Headline News Steve Gerber Passes Away

Steve Gerber, creator of Howard the Duck, passed away Sunday at the age of 60 in Las Vegas.

The comics legend lived in Los Angeles for more than 20 years, but lost his battle to pulmonary fibrosis in a Las Vegas hospital.

His friend Mark Evanier posted the news Monday on Gerbers blog (www.stevegerber.com/sgblog), just a week after Gerber himself had reported on his work on a new Doctor Fate book.

Headline News Disney Background Artist Brice Mack Passes Away

Brice Mack, who painted animation backgrounds for Walt Disney in the '30s, '40s and '50s and subsequently produced and directed commercials and films, died Jan. 2nd in Hollywood, California. He was 90.

Mack painted backgrounds for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, PINOCCHIO, FANTASIA, SONG OF THE SOUTH, CINDERELLA, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, PETER PAN and LADY AND THE TRAMP, among others. He also painted backgrounds for many shorts, including the 1942 Academy Award-winning LEND A PAW.

Headline News Animation Vet Jack Zander Dies at 99

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 12:00am

Animation veteran Jack Zander has passed away on Dec. 17, 2007, at the age of 99.

Zander began his career in animation through a fluke. While he was attending Chouinard School in California, he took a job at Roemer Grey Studios, claiming to be an animator when in actuality he had no animation experience at all. Learning on the job, he worked under the tutelage of Tom and Bob McKimson. After Roemer Grey Studios closed, Zander went on to work at Warner Bros. and later made the move from Los Angeles to New York to work at Van Buren Studios and later for Terrytoons.

Headline News Animator Ken Southworth Dies at 89

Ken Southworth, an industry veteran who animated at Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Walter Lantz, MGM, Hanna-Barbera, Clokey Prods. and Filmation, has died after suffering several strokes on Dec. 5th at his home in Anaheim. He was 89.

Southworth was born in Lancashire, England, but moved to the U.S. after receiving a scholarship to attend the Chicago Art Institute. In 1944, he started work at Disney. His credits include ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CINDERELLA and SLEEPY HOLLOW.

Headline News Cartoon Network SVP Jennifer Davidson Dies at 38

Cartoon Network SVP of Programming and Scheduling, Jennifer Davidson, unexpectedly died early Saturday morning, Dec. 1, 2007. The 38-year-old wife and mother died of a sudden illness. She is survived by her husband, John Davidson, and three young children, Mitchell (7), Oliver (5) and Harper (2).

Headline News 3-Day Gaming Binge Leads to Death

In the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, a 30-year-old man died of exhaustion following a three-day Internet gaming marathon, the state media reported. Paramedics, after they were called to a cyber cafe after the man fainted, were unable to revive him. No mention was made of the game the man was playing. After the incident, nearly 100 frightened gamers left the cyber cafe.

China has one of the biggest markets for online gaming. Each year, clinics across the country treat children and teenagers for "Internet addiction."

Headline News Animator Shot By Police in Vancouver

A man shot by police in Vancouver was identified by friends as animator Paul Boyd, according to the CBC. On Monday, Aug. 13, 2007, Vancouver police responded to a 911 call at Granville and 16th Ave., where Boyd was shot after allegedly threatening officers with a potentially lethal weapon.

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