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Ryan Larkin Dies at Age 63

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.

Larkin studied animation at the Art School of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under Group of Seven member Arthur Lismer. When he joined the National Film Board of Canada in the early 1960s, he worked closely with animation legend Norman McLaren.

By the late 1970s, Larkins drug and alcohol abuse led to him eventually living on the street. However, Chris Landreths 2004 short animated film, RYAN, about Larkin brought the filmmaker back into the spotlight. The CG film, which includes interviews with Larkin, went on to win the Oscar for Outstanding Animated Short Subject.

Revitalized, Larkin began working on a new film titled, SPARE CHANGE with composer Laurie Gordon of the band Chiwawa in 2005. Additionally, in December of 2006, Larkin created three :05 bumpers for MTV Canada.

The following is a message from Larkins longtime friend Felicity Fanjoy:

First, thanks to all of you who have sent warm thoughts and kind messages.

Ryan departed this life on Valentine's Day around eleven o'clock in the evening. He died in the palliative care unit of the Hotel Dieu Hospital in St. Hyacinthe QC of lung cancer that had spread to the brain.

Before slipping into unconsciousness at the beginning of this week, his last words to Laurie Gordon (his guardian angel who, along with her family, have encouraged, supported and helped Ryan in every way possible in the last couple of years) were: I'm happy. I'm okay. I like it here. A few days earlier he also said,I just want to rest and rest and rest and rest and rest until the end of my days. And that is what he did.

For those of you who are in Montreal and wish to join us, we plan to gather informally this Sunday afternoon starting around 2:00 o'clock at the Copacabana, Ryan's favorite bar on the Main, to lift a glass in his honor.

When a more formal celebration of his life is planned, I will let you know the details.

Peace and joy to you all, Felicity

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks