David Hilberman, one of the co-founders of UPA, passed away on July 5, 2007, at Stanford Hospital in Stanford, California, due to complications from an infection, reports his son Mark. He was 96 years old.
Category: In Passing
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.
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.
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.
Ray Erlenborn, a sound effects artist and actor, passed away from the complications of a bacterial infection on June 4, 2007, in West Hills, California, reports THE BIG CARTOON DATABASE. He was 92 years old.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Carol Lundberg, who worked for such studios as Filmation Assoc., Marvel Prods., Hanna-Barbera Studios and Hyperion Pictures, died on Feb. 11, 2007, reports THE BIG CARTOON DATABASE. She was 72.
In 1969, Lundberg began work as a layout artist for Filmation, where she worked until 1981. Her Filmation layout credits included: STAR TREK (1973), THE SECRET LIVES OF WALDO KITTY (1975), THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN (1977), THE YOUNG SENTINELS (1977), THE FAT ALBERT CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (1977) and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF FLASH GORDON (1979).
Marshall Rogers, who was instrumental in revitalizing BATMAN in the 1970s, died unexpectedly at his home in Fremont, California, on March 25, 2007, reports various news outlets. He was 57 years old. His family is still waiting for the official cause of death.
Rogers was a relatively inexperienced outsider when he took over the plum assignment of penciling Batman's adventures in "Detective Comics" in 1977. Paul Levitz, president of DC Comics now and a writer then, recalled that Rogers became "one of the radical young stylists bringing new looks to DC in the '70s."
Tim Onosko, a leading new technology expert and trend forecaster, who worked for and advised The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Studios, passed away at his home in Madison, Wisconsin, on March 6, following a hard fought battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 60-years-old.
Elbert Tuganov, the father of Estonian animation, died on March 22, 2007. He was 87.
Tuganov was actually born in Baku, Azerbaijan (1920), and began his animation career in Germany. When Hitler took power, Tuganov returned to Estonia.
Michel M. Grilikhes -- producer of the first primetime cartoon series, CBS CARTOON THEATER -- died March 9, 2007, in Los Angeles of kidney failure, reports THE BIG CARTOON DATABASE. He was 83 years old.
CBS Cartoon Theater only aired one year -- 1956 -- and was hosted by Dick Van Dyke. The series was comprised mainly of Terrytoons. In some episodes, Van Dyke would interact with some of his cartoon guests.
E. Natatcha Estebanez, series producer for PBS' POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER, passed away from the complications of a metastasized sarcoma on March 15, 2007, reports the Big Cartoon Database. She was 45. Previously, she survived battles with Hodgkin's disease and breast cancer.
In 2005 and 2006, she was part of the team nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards in the category of Outstanding Children's Series for POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER.
Comedian Richard Jeni, who made more appearances on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO than any other comic, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face, reports various news outlet. He was taken to the hospital in Los Angeles after a 911 call where he died of his injuries. He was 45.
Eustace Lycett, a 43-year Disney veteran who won Academy Awards for his special photographic effects in MARY POPPINS and BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS, passed away on Nov. 16, 2006. He died of natural causes at Park Vista at Morningside Nursing Home in Fullerton, California. He was 91.
Walker Edmiston, a veteran voice actor, died on Feb. 15, 2007, at a Woodland Hills, California hospital, according to the Big Cartoon Database. He was 81 years old.
Edmiston may be best known for taking over the role of Beany on Bob Clampett's original TIME FOR BEANY after Daws Butler left the puppet show. He would later host his own puppet show, THE WALKER EDMISTON SHOW, for Los Angeles' KTLA.
Italian cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandoli, whose pen name was Cava, died on March 3, 2007 of natural causes. He was 87 years old. He is most known for his short cartoon series, LA LINEA (THE LINE).
Born in Maderno, Italy, he moved to Milan when he was two. From 1936 to 1940, he did technical design for Alfa Romeo. He moved into cartoons in 1943 when he began working with Nino Pagot, the creator of CALIMERO. In 1950 he started working in animation independently directing and producing his work. LA LINEA debuted on TV in 1969.
U.K. based producer Dick Arnall, who produced Robert Bradbrook's multi-award winning HOME ROAD MOVIES and helped start the animate! scheme, died on Feb. 6, 2007. His other producing credits included Ruth Lingford's DEATH AND THE MOTHER (1988), Lizzie Oxby's EXTN. 21 (2002), Run Wrake's RABBIT (2005) and Jo Ann Kaplan's ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY (2006). He was nominated for two BAFTA awards for his work on HOME ROAD MOVIES as well as Tim Webb's A IS FOR AUTISM (1992).
AWN is sad to report the passing of legendary animator Ryan Larkin at 10:30 pm on Feb. 14, 2007, in Canada. He was 63 years old. Larkin was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.
Born in Montreal, Larkin was nominated for the Oscar for his 1969 short film, WALKING. In 1972, he was again honored with an Oscar nod for his short film, STREET MUSIQUE. Moreover, he provided animated effects for Mort Ransens RUNNING TIME, for which he acted in three small roles.
Peter Ellenshaw, the Oscar-winning visual effects pioneer and matte artist who worked his inventive magic on such classic Disney live-action films as MARY POPPINS, 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE, TREASURE ISLAND and THE BLACK HOLE, passed away at his home in Santa Barbara on Monday (Feb. 12, 2007) at the age of 93.
Emmy-winning composer and arranger Harvey R. Cohen passed away on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007, after suffering a heart attack in his Agoura Hills, California, home, reports VARIETY. He was 55.
Cohen won two Emmys for his music for the animated series -- DISNEY'S ALADDIN in 1995 and THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN in 1996. He garnered three other Emmy nominations for animated series -- two for CASPER and the other for BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. His fourth nomination was for music direction on a Patti LaBelle PBS special.
Special effects wizard "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, who was known widely for his pedal steel guitar work with Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers, died on Saturday morning (Jan. 6, 2007), from complications brought on by Alzheimer's disease in a nursing facility in Petaluma, California. He was 72.
His daughter Anita confirmed his death saying that he had been living with the disease for more than 18 months and it "hit him hard and fast."