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Category: In Passing

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.

Headline News 13-Year-Old VO Actor Dies in Skateboarding Accident

James Street, a voice actor for DIC's STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE series since 2004, died on July 4, 2007, after suffering injuries in a skateboarding accident close to home in Thousand Oaks, California, reports THE BIG CARTOON DATABASE. He was 13 years old.

Street's most recent voice work could be heard on TV as Pepito in MADELINE and on home video as Huckleberry Pie in STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: BERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL. Street took over the role of Huckleberry in 2004's STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: ADVENTURES ON ICE CREAM ISLAND.

Headline News Flintstones Composer Will Schaefer Passes Away

Will Schaefer, the composer on many Hanna-Barbara series, such as THE FLINTSTONES, THE YOGI BEAR SHOW and SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU!, passed away from cancer on Saturday, June 30, 2007, in Palm Desert, California. He was 78 years old.

Schaefer also composed music for Walt Disney Studios, working on TV shows like THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY and the 1970 feature, THE ARISTOCATS, which he teamed with George Bruns.

Headline News Veteran Disney Animator/Filmmaker Art Stevens Dies at Age 92

Veteran Disney animator/filmmaker Art Stevens, who co-produced and co-directed THE FOX AND THE HOUND, and co-directed THE RESCUERS during his illustrious 44-year career at the Disney studio, passed away at the age of 92 on May 22, 2007, at his home in Studio City, California, after suffering a heart attack in his rose garden.

Headline News Visual Effects Artist Eric Algren Dies at 32

Eric Algren passed away unexpectedly on May 25, 2007, at the age of 32, reports the BIG CARTOON DATABASE.

His most recent work was as a Flame artist on FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER. He also served as a digital compositor on the upcoming sci-fi thriller THE INVASION, which is set for release in the U.S. on Aug. 17.

He worked for such companies as Hydraulx, Digital Domain and Creo for projects including 300, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, AEON FLUX, LITTLE MAN, FAILURE TO LAUNCH and TITANIC. In 2000, he was an animation assistant on Disney's DINOSAUR.

Headline News Charles Nelson Reilly Dies at 76

Tony Award winning actor Charles Nelson Reilly has died at the age of 76, reports THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. He passed away on May 25, 2007, in Los Angeles from complications from pneumonia, reported his partner, Patrick Hughes, to the NEW YORK TIMES.

Reilly's work in animation spanned several decades. In 1975-76, he hosted Filmation's kids' series UNCLE CROC'S BLOCK, which featured such animated segments as THE GROOVIE GOOLIES, WACKY AND PACKY, M*U*S*H and FRAIDY CAT.

Headline News HB, MGM painter Roberta Greutert Passes Away

Roberta Greutert Marshall, Hanna-Barbera's first ink-and-paint supervisor, passed away on April 26, 2007, in Woodland Hills, California, reports the BIG CARTOON DATABASE. She was 93 years old.

Born in Tennessee in 1914, she began her career in animation as a painter at MGM in 1938. While at MGM, she worked as a background artist in the CineScope Tom and Jerry shorts, TIMID TABBY (1957) and HAPPY GO DUCKY (1958).

In 1957, when the studio closed, she went to Hanna-Barbera, working as the ink-and-paint supervisor until she retired in the 1970s.

Headline News Designer Benjamin "Ben" Ferrer Passes Away

Illustrator and designer Benjamin "Ben" Ferrer passed away on March 22, 2007, reports the THE BIG CARTOON DATABASE. He was 47 years old.

Ferrer designed vehicles, weapons and other inanimate objects for the HBO series, SPICY CITY, which was directed by Ralph Bakshi, as well as Todd MacFarlane's Emmy-winning SPAWN.

For Disney's 2002 direct-to-video, CINDERELLA II: DREAMS COME TRUE, he designed a Ferris wheel.

Headline News Pooh Series Director Terry Harrison Passes Away

Veteran animator Terence "Terry" Harrison, who won an Emmy in 1990 as the co-director of DISNEY'S THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH, died on Feb. 28, 2007, in his native England at the age of 75.

Harrison also shared an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Animated Program in 1992 for POOH.

Harrison was an animator and director on Halas and Batchelor's FOO-FOO (1960). Harrison directed three shorts for the National Film Board of Canada, which included IN A NUTSHELL (1971), TILT (1972) and 11 STEPS TO SURVIVAL (1973).

Headline News Former Disney Animator Cassetti Dies at 35

Erica Deana Cassetti, a former animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation, died at her home in Chandler, Arizona, on April 21, 2007, reports THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC. She was 35 years old.

Cassetti was born Nov.18, 1971, in Houston, Texas, and went to CalArts. She began her career at Rhythm & Hues on the first Coca-Cola polar bear commercial. She followed that with a nine-year career at Disney, working on such films as THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, HERCULES, TARZAN and ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE. She left Disney to work on DreamWorks' SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS.

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