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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. Deitch remembers Ernies Terrytoons tenure fondly: "The Old Guard at Terrytoons were put off by this upstart, who played his jazz trumpet full blast from his little cubicle as he was waiting for inspiration! He was so far from the traditional Terrytoons way of working as to be considered almost as a Martian. His presence was a blast of fresh air in that stodgy studio." After leaving Terrytoons, Pintoff made his career as an independent animator and won the 1963 best animated short Oscar for his film THE CRITIC, which was written and narrated by Mel Brooks. His career continued into the 70s and 80s, where he worked mainly in advertising and live-action. In 1998 he received the ASIFA-Hollywood Winsor McCay Award for lifetime contribution to the art of animation. Pintoff was also an author and director, as well as a teacher at the School of Visual Arts, American Film Institute, Cal Arts, USC and UCLA.