In 2021, we bid farewell to many talented men and women who brightened our world with their contributions to the world of animation and visual effects. We honor their memory on these pages, celebrate their many accomplishments and are forever grateful to them for making our world such a better place. We are grateful to the wonderful Tom Sito, who produces the Afternoon of Remembrance each year to celebrate and honor the lives of those who gave so much to our community and the world at large. The Animation Guild’s annual event is scheduled for Saturday, February 5 at noon PST on Zoom.
Edwin E. Aguilar. Animator, character layout artist and assistant director on The Simpsons, who began his career at Graz Entertainment and Hanna-Barbera (working with Chuck Jones on Warner. Bros. shorts). He also worked on The Oblongs and The Simpsons Movie. Died April 10, age 46. (Full obit here.)
Jack Angel. Voice actor best known for his work on shows such as The Transformers, Super Friends (Hawkman, The Flash, Super Samurai), The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, Spider-Man, Pole Position and Voltron: Defender of the Universe and movies such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Iron Giant, Spirited Away and Monsters, Inc. Died Oct. 19, age 90. (Full obit here.)
Ed Asner. Seven-time Emmy-winning actor best known for his role as Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and voicing Carl in Pixar’s Oscar-winning Up. His many voice credits include Animaniacs, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Johnny Bravo, King of the Hill, The Boondocks, Hercules, Gargoyles, Freakazoid!, Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, SpongeBob SquarePants, American Dad! and Central Park. Died Aug. 29, age 91. (Full obit here.)
Dale Baer. Long-time Disney animator whose credits at the studio include Robin Hood, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, The Rescuers, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Black Cauldron, The Lion King, Tarzan, The Emperor’s New Groove, Treasure Planet, The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh (Owl). He also worked on Lord of the Rings, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the upcoming The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Died Jan. 15, age 70. (Full obit here.)
Brenda Banks. One of the first Black women to become a professional animator, she worked on Ralph Bakshi’s Coonskin, The Lord of the Rings, Wizards and Fire and Ice. Other credits include Heathcliff, Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island, The Smurfs, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, The Duxorcist, Jetsons: The Movie, Tom & Jerry Kids and This Is America, Charlie Brown. Banks also worked as character layout artist on The Simpsons and King of the Hill. Died Dec. 30, 2020; age 71. (Full obit here.)
Bob Baker. BAFTA-winning British TV and film writer, who co-wrote Aardman Animations’ The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave, A Matter of Loaf and Death and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit with Nick Park. He also wrote for the Dr. Who series and created the show’s K-9 character, which went on to have its own series. Died Nov. 3, age 82. (Full obit here.)
Noreen Beasley. Character designer and rough in-betweener who worked on Foofur, The Centurions, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Goofy Movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Tarzan, Atlantis and Treasure Planet. Died July 22.
Ned Beatty. Oscar-nominated actor best known for his roles in Deliverance, Network, Superman and Hear My Song and to Pixar fans as the voice of pink teddy bear Lotso in Toy Story 3. Died June 13, age 83.
Vinnie Bell. Talented animator whose 50-year career spanned everything from Terrytoons shorts, to ’80s The Berenstain Bears specials to 21st century adult comedy Harvey Birdman. The Deputy Dawg Show, Mighty Mouse, The Old Man and the Flower, Dig, The MAD Magazine TV Special, Michael Sporn’s Nightingale, The Lizzie McGuire Movie and SNL’s TV Funhouse are among his many credits. Died Feb. 1, age 89. (Full obit here.)
Val Bettin. Voice actor who was featured in The Great Mouse Detective (Dr. David Dawson), The Return of Jafar (The Sultan) and Shrek (Bishop) as well as shows such as Hercules, Gargoyles and Pepper Ann. Died Jan. 7, age 97.
Jamie Kezlarian Bolio. Animator and marketing/consultancy pro who launched campaigns for indie features such as The Secret of Kells, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea and represented acclaimed Irish studio Cartoon Saloon and NFB shorts. A former board member of ASIFA-Hollywood, she worked as a clean-up artist/assistant animator on Rocko’s Modern Life, An American Tale: Fievel Goes West, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Tale, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan and Fantasia 2000 and was assistant animator on The Illusionist. Died Aug. 29, age 54. (Full obit here.)
Richard Bowman. Prolific animation director, supervising animator and sheet timer, who worked consistently for the past five decades. Among his numerous TV credits: X-Men: The Animated Series, The Simpsons, Muppet Babies, The Addams Family, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, The Tick, Beethoven, Aeon Flux, Men in Black: The Series, SpongeBob SquarePants, Danny Phantom, Doctor Strange and My Friends Tigger & Pooh. His final credit was sheet timer on 2021’s The Loud House Movie. Died March 19, age 70.
Allan Burns. Oscar-nominated writer/producer (A Little Romance) and one of the creators of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. His wide range of writing credits include The Bullwinkle Show, Rhoda, Lou Grant, The Munsters, He and She, Get Smart and Fractured Flickers. Died Jan. 20, age 85.
Peter R. Brown. Character designer, overseas animation supervisor and effects animator, who worked on shows such as Recess, As Told by Ginger, Lilo & Stitch: The Series and Family Guy and movies such as FernGully: The Last Rainforest, All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, A Goofy Movie and Space Jam. Died Aug. 12. (Full obit here.)
Ron Campbell. Animator, illustrator and director best known for The Beatles cartoon and Yellow Submarine. From the 1960s, he worked on a wide variety of TV series and movies including Cool McCool, The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour, The Flintstones, Pac-Man, The Jetsons, Ghostbusters, Bionic Six, The Snorks, The Smurfs, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rugrats, Rocket Power and Stuart Little. Died Jan. 22, age 81. (Full obit here.)
Sam Cornell. Storyboard artist (The Rugrats Movie, George of the Jungle), producer (Hollywood Dog) and writer/director (The New 3 Stooges) who also worked on Jetsons: The Movie, Mickey’s 60th Birthday, The Hugga Bunch, Donald Duck’s 50th Birthday, Shinbone Alley and Twilight Zone: The Movie. Died May 1, age 82.
Dave Creek. Character designer on Bob’s Burgers, Central Park, The Great North, Brickleberry and Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (layout). Died Jan. 7 from injuries sustained in a skydiving accident, age 43. (Full obit here.)
David DePatie. Emmy- and Oscar-winning producer, co-founder of DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and exec producer at Warner Bros. Cartoons and Marvel. Produced numerous Pink Panther shorts with Friz Freleng, including the Oscar-winning The Pink Phink and the Oscar-nominated The Pink Blueprint as well as the Emmy-winning special Halloween Is Grinch Night. TV credits include The Pink Panther Show, Spider-Man, Daffy Duck’s Easter Show, The Charmkins, G.I. Joe, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friend and Pink Panther and Sons. Died Sept. 23, age 91. (Full obit here.)
Jacques Drouin. Canadian animator and director most known for his pinscreen animation and National Film Board of Canada projects. Imprints, A Hunting Lesson, Mindscape, NightAngel and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are among his best-loved work. Died Aug. 28, age 78. (Full obit here.)
Don Duga. Layout/storyboard artist who worked on TV shows (Sesame Street, The Puzzle Place) and movies (The Last Unicorn), specials (Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town) and shorts (Dream Bike, How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World). Died May 31, age 87.
Chris Duncan. Background artist and matte painter who worked at Bento Box, Digital Domain and Warner Bros. Animation. Osmosis Jones, Ender’s Game, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, I Am Weasel, Detention, Johnny Bravo, Ozzy & Drix, Loonatics Unleashed and The Great North were among the many shows and movies he worked on. Died Nov. 10, age 58.
Mira Furlan. Croatian actress who starred as Silver Sable in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Babette in Arcane, Delen in Babylon 5 and Danielle Rousseau in Lost. Died Jan. 20 from complications from West Nile virus, age 64.
Sean Gallimore. Assistant animator and cleanup animator who worked on The Lion King, Tarzan, Fantasia 2000, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Treasure Planet, Mary Poppins Returns and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Died Oct. 20, age 56.
Myrna Gibbs. Ink and paint artist who began her career working on Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Credits include The Flintstones, The Pink Panther, Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales, Spider-Woman, The Transformers: The Movie, My Little Pony: The Movie, The Transformers, Cathy’s Valentine and This Is America, Charlie Brown. Died Sept. 28.
Troy Gustafson. Visual effects animator who worked on Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch and Brother Bear. Died Sept. 23, age 59.
Billie Hayes. Versatile character actress best known for playing Witchipoo in H.R. Pufnstuf and Weenie the Genie on Lidsville. Animation lovers know her as Orgoch (The Black Cauldron), Granny Whammy (DarkWing Duck), Mother Mae-Eye (Teen Titans Go!), Mrs. Neederlander (Transformers: Rescue Bots) and many other guest voices. Died April 29, age 96. (Full obit here.)
Ángel Izquierdo. Spanish animation veteran who directed the features Dragon Hill and The Adventures of Don Quixote and worked on series such as Yogi’s Space Race, The Super Globetrotters, The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, Mystery Museum, Mia and Me and movies such as Asterix in America, Asterix versus Caesar, The Magic Cube and Pippi Longstockings. He co-founded the animation studio Milimetros with Antonio Zurera in 1982. Died Feb. 1.
Marcell Jankovics. Hungarian graphic artist, film director, animator and author who earned an Oscar nomination for his 1974 short Sisyphus and a Palme d’Or for the 1977 short The Struggle. Other works include the feature film Son of the White Mare, A Hungarian Fairy Tale and The Tragedy of Man. Died May 29, age 79. (Full obit here.)
Olivier Jean-Marie. French animator and show creator best known for writing and directing numerous animated series and features at Xilam Studios, including Oggy and the Cockroaches, Space Goofs and the feature Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure. His most recent venture was the new Mr. Magoo animated series. Died May 13, age 60, after a long battle with cancer. (Full obit here.)
Don Jurwich. Writer-director-producer at Hanna-Barbera and Marvel Productions who produced and directed Scooby-Doo, The Superfriends, Captain Caveman, Richie Rich, Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, directed Spiderman and His Amazing Friends, produced 85 half-hour episodes of G.I. Joe along with the Real American Hero miniseries and G.I. Joe: The Movie. Other credits include Road Runner, The Pink Panther, Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Flintstones, George of the Jungle, The New Yogi Bear Show, Tom & Jerry Kids, The Smurfs and the movie Heavy Metal. Died July 13, age 87. (Full obit here.)
Linda Kahn. Children’s TV executive for more than 40 years at Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, MTV Networks and Scholastic who helped launch shows such as Ren & Stimpy, Rugrats, Goosebumps, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Maya & Miguel and WordGirl onto the global market. Died Aug. 30, age 72. (Full obit here.)
Osamu Kobayashi. Japanese animator, illustrator, designer and animation director primarily known for BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad and Paradise Kiss, and directing episodes of Gurren Lagann and Dororo. Also directed avant-garde shorts and music videos for Studio 4°C . Died April 17, age 57, of kidney cancer. (Full obit here.)
Cloris Leachman. Beloved Oscar- and seven-time Emmy-winning actress, best known for her roles in The Last Picture Show, High Anxiety, Young Frankenstein, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis and Malcolm in the Middle. She also provided the voice of…