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In Memoriam: Members of the Animation Community We Lost in 2012

As we approach the end of another year, let us take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of the animation community members who we lost in 2012. Some of these people devoted their entire lives to animation while others worked in interrelated fields and only occasionally ventured into frame-by-frame territory. What they all share in common is that they enriched the art form in a unique and meaningful way.

Should you wish to explore the work of these people further, many of the names below are linked to more detailed posts about the life and work of the artist. If we have inadvertently omitted any names of animation community members who passed away in 2012, please let us know in the comments.

* Gerry Anderson
* Frank Andrina
* Takeshi Aono
* Dick Beals
* Iris Beckerman
* Jan Berenstain
* Lucille Bliss
* Ernest Borgnine
* Dave Borthwick
* Jack Bosson
* Ray Bradbury
* Dave Brubeck
* Richard “Kip” Carpenter
* Ernie Chan
* Dick Clark
* Kristine “Casey” Clayton
* John Coates
* Franco Cristofani
* Tissa David
* Josie DeCarlo
* Patricia Disney
* Jim Duffy
* Jake Eberts
* Ethel Falkenberg
* Jean “Moebius” Giraud
* Edd Gould
* Karen Greslie
* Leland Hartman
* Jim Hiltz
* Mike Hopkins
* Daphne Huntington
* Yasuyuki Inoue
* Noboru Ishiguro
* Fyodor Khitruk
* Thomas Kinkade
* Peter Kranjcevich
* Joe Kubert
* Bob Lambert
* Ken Landau
* Nancy McCullough
* Ralph McQuarrie
* Don Markstein
* Rusty Mills
* Sheldon Moldoff
* Eileen Moran
* Conne Morgan
* Keiji Nakazawa
* Mark Nelson
* Margaret Nichols
* Rod Parkes
* Bretislav Pojar
* Buzz Potamkin
* Al Rio
* Geri Rochon
* ‘Sheriff’ John Rovick
* Ken Sansom
* Mary Sarbry
* Maurice Sendak
* Ravi Shankar
* Mel Shaw
* Robert B. Sherman
* José Silverio
* Marcia Sinclair
* Dan Thompson
* Dick Tufeld
* Ginny Tyler
* Gerrit Van Dijk
* Ken Walker
* Manon Washburn
* Bill White
* Thomas Woodington
* Run Wrake

(In memoriam image via Shutterstock)

  • Justin Delbert

    Jan Berenstain. The Berenstain Bears were a part of animation at one point or another too?

  • Jason schleifer

    Don’t forget Eileen Moran, producer at weta digital..

  • Christopher Cook

    I communicated with Frank Andrina in the early 80s via snail mail while he was at Hanna-Barbera. He shared tidbits and sent me some layout sheets he did of the Beatles cartoon episodes done at the Canawest studios where he was at the time. Sad to see him go.

  • Jules

    What a sad, sad list.

  • eeteed

    comic book/comic strip/animation artist Bill White left us late in october 2012.

    Bill worked at spumco, at disney feature animation, and did work on animated television commercials for scott shaw. he also did comic book adaptations of disney and hanna barbera characters.

    Bill’s passing has been difficult for me to accept. i left word of his passing on cartoon brew’s “suggest a tip”, but it was deemed not worthy of an entry on cartoon brew. that also was difficult to accept. thanks brewmeisters.

    • Added his name to the list. Also, your suggestion that we deemed his passing “not worthy of an entry” is both incorrect and rude.

  • James Madison

    So many..and these are just the one’s we know.


  • Stéphane Dumas

    There was also Japanese animator Shingo Araki and one of Inspector Gadget creators, Bruno Bianchi. :-(

    • Both are sad losses, but if the Internet is to be believed, both of them died in 2011.

      • Stéphane Dumas

        I just checked it, both passed away in December 2011. Sorry for the confusion -_-;

  • Muppet performer Jerry Nelson died a few months back.
    He didn’t draw but certainly as animationy as the rest of us.

  • Rob T.

    Would sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar count? If Dave Brubeck counts as “a member of the animation community” for doing an album of Disney tunes, surely Shankar counts for scoring a Norman McLaren short (“A Chairy Tale”, which to be fair could be considered only part-animated).

  • cristy maltese

    Thomas Woodington (Tall Tom), background painter at Filmation, Bagdasarian, and Disney Feature Animation. A gentle giant, could usually be found playing ping pong. Funniest guy you ever met. Loved his family more than anything.

  • As far as Japanese talent in 2012, the only other ones I know of are:

    Yasuyuki Inoue (1922-2012) – art director of many classic Toho tokusatsu (SPFX) films (including the original GODZILLA), up to 1984.

    Noboru Ishiguro (1938-2012) – directed both animation (MARINE BOY, YAMATO, etc.) and tokusatsu (LION MARU).

    Takeshi Aono (1936-2012) – Voice actor in both anime (GATCHAMAN, YAMATO, FIST OF THE NORTH STAR) and tokusatsu (the voice of Zarab-Seijin in ULTRAMAN).

  • Gerrit van Dijk, a key figure in Dutch animation, also passed away, merely a month ago actually.

    • added. thx!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I feel sad I never had a chance to tell him how I felt about his work.

  • Your thoughts are well taken, but I’d like to say that Dave Brubeck did a good deal more than just record an album of Disney tunes. I was introduced to Dave by his brother, Henry who was my music instructor in Santa Barbara. I was just a kid, but Brubeck influenced my eventual move toward a career in animation.

  • Ginny Tyler and Dick Tufeld both died in ’12 and both did a lot of cartoon voices.

    I could also suggest Josie DeCarlo, widow of Dan DeCarlo and person for whom Josie (of Josie and the Pussycats) was named.

    And Dick Clark was a business partner in some of DIC’s early shows.

    And a lot of us who got into the cartoon business were inspired by watching cartoons hosted by local (L.A.) TV legend “Sheriff John” Rovick.

    • Thanks Mark! I’ve updated the memorial with these names.

  • JB

    Didn’t realize that Ken Sansom had passed away in October. Last year’s Winnie the Pooh movie could’ve been the final time he voiced Rabbit if they hadn’t recast it to Tom Kenny (no offense though, considering he’s one of my favorite voice actors). Still, too bad.


  • Steve Gattuso

    Sadly, we have a last minute addition to the list. Mike Hopkins, who was sound editor on “Kung-Fu Panda,” “The Lord of The Rings,” and “Transformers,” died in a rafting accident on Sunday. The AP story:

  • I would like to remind Vladimir Jiranek, creator of Czecj serials like “Pat a Mat” or “Bob a Bobek2 and co-director of short films:

    Then, I don’t know if it fits here, but Francesca Pirotta, who wrote her Master thesis under prof. Bendazzi about Pierre Hébert, passed away last October at the age of 28. Here is a mention of her thesis in Pierre Hébert’s official page:

  • Alfons Moline

    Fans of Disney comics should add to the list Chilean artist Vicar (Victor Arriagada Rios), often called “the heir of Carl Barks” (a distinction shared with Don Rosa) and “the second Good Duck Artist”, who passed away on January 3, 2012. He also worked in animation while living in Barcelona, Spain, as a character designer on the 1966 feature “El Mago de los Sueños” (The Dream Wizard), directed by Francisco Macián.

    • EL MAGO DE LOS SUENOS was such an adorable movie! Especially with Familia Telerin being the main characters. :)

  • American Indian Movement activist Russell Means became an actor as well as an an activist. His credits included providing the voice of Powhatan, the father of Pocahontas, in Disney’s 1995 film. He passed away in October.

    His IMDB listing: