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Tom Ray 1919-2010

The Animation Guild is reporting the passing of animator Tom Ray.

Ray started at Warner Bros. in 1937 and worked for MGM after WWII in the Hanna-Barbera Tom & Jerry unit. He assisted at John Sutherland’s studio and UPA in the fifties, finally earning animation credit on several Robert McKimson and Chuck Jones cartoons in the late 50s and early 60s. He shared co-director credit on several Chuck Jones films, including episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show, and The Adventures of The Road Runner featurette. His later credits include animation on Pink Panther shorts, Bakshi’s Heavy Traffic and Coonskin, Chuck Jones TV Specials, numerous Filmation and Hanna Barbera series, Tiny Toons and Animaniacs – and directed many episodes of various series including Transformers and Garfield.

  • Good artist! I always wanted to meet him but he moved to the east coast. Thanks for the great art through the years!

  • Other big loss. My condoleances to him and his family. He deserve any respect.

  • My thoughts go to the Ray family, and thanks for allowing Tom to share his visions with us. Tom was one of the five animators who created “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” back in 1966. In addition to the Grinch, we can also thank Tom for being part of the team that brought us Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, Yogi Bear, and a smart-aleck, Brooklyn-type rabbit known to most of us by the name of Bugs.

    His fan mail address is below, if anyone wishes to send cards.

    Tomstone Animation Studios & Gallery
    Post Office Box 56436
    Virginia Beach, VA 23456

    Also, Floyd Norman is a little under the weather, so lets send some happy thoughts his way, as well.

  • Anyone who was part of the masterpiece that is Coonskin has my utmost respect.

    Rest in peace brother, we’ll miss you.

  • I applied to work at Tom Ray’s animation studio some time ago. It would have been great to have worked with him.

    R.I.P., Mr. Ray

  • Pez

    So Sad to lose another talent from the Golden Age. Are there any interviews with him that someone could post a link to here?
    God’s Blessing to the Family in there time of grievance.

  • Wow, what a checkered career! From Warner Brothers in the 30s up until “Garfield and Friends”, “Tiny Toons” and “Animaniacs” in the 90s… this guy has really been all around! My condolences to his close ones, and to the world in general for losing such a fine, versatile artist.

  • This stinks. Another great from the Golden Age of Animation gone, and especially one who had such a diverse career in his craft. Rest in peace.

  • I’m sorry to hear of the passing of this great artist. Jerry, I want to thank you personally for pointing him out at an Academy or ASIFA screening. I got a great drawing and autograph for my book.

    And Floyd, get well soon.

  • Mike Kazaleh

    Sad news. I got to know Tom at Filmation and I worked with him again at Tiny Toons. He was a nice fellow and I liked him. We had a number of lunches together and he’d sometimes show me a Road Runner trick or two.

  • He’s one of the last standing from the Looney Tunes days. I think only Bob Givens is left of those who received substantial screen credits in the classic era (1930-1963)

  • Well, it’s no surprise at this point that there are fewer and fewer animation veterans still alive. But it’s still sad to hear about this.

    I checked his list of (no doubt incomplete) cartoons he worked on at imdb and I have to say I’m impressed with his resume. Everything from the classic Warners shorts to “Garfield and Friends” and “Hey Arnold”. I hope I can have a varied career like Tom.

  • Rooniman

    Man, this guys done everything!

  • steve w.

    It’s sad that the ranks of the “younger” fellows from WB Cartoons are thinning. Tom Ray worked on some of my favorite cartoons, including the early 1960s Road-Runners from Chuck Jones.

    Dave Mackey mentions Bob Givens as still being around; I would like to add Bob Singer to that list. I interviewed Singer not so long ago (oh, I guess it’s actually been 30 years now, on Super 8 film yet, but it seems like yesterday) and I can tell you he’s one great guy. Singer is credited alongside the late Tom Ray on many films, as is Bob Givens.

  • ratigan

    ‘Tis a sad day indeed. I remember seeing his name again and again in different credits. I second Pez: anyone know of interviews or links?

  • Grayson Ponti

    This is sad because I always wanted to meet one of the Warners animators, and there are fewer and fewer left with us. Hopefully when I break into the business there will be someone remaining. I would like to know how to identify Tom’s animation and know what scenes he did. Also I’m very sad to hear Floyd Norman isn’t feeling well. I wish the best for him.

    • Alison Gray

      Back in November of 07, I noticed a new store opened up that replaced another store that went out of business in my town of Stroudsburg, Pa. To my surprise was an animation art store, owned by an animator whose work I’ve grown up with and became familiarized with. Since then, I’ve frequented the store a lot, seeing Tom and Brenda to talk. I’ve brought my ex, my college professor/adviser, and my dad and step mom to the store to meet them. Brenda convinced me in voting for Obama during the elections. I’ve done art work for his birthdays. I even planned to have behind the scenes info for one of the animation works for a work in progress essay. It was a shame to see them go when business wasn’t picking up, but obviously that was to happen in the town. It took a while for the late news to hit me, but when it went in full force. I was still planning on working something for his birthday but now it would have to be something different. For being devoted to cartoons as much as I was, it was a big etched into my life among other memories I find cherished.
      Condolences to all the family.

  • Alison Gray

    Back in November some year ago, Tomstone Animation was set up in my town of Stroudsburg, Pa. It was a chance meeting really when a store went out of business and was replaced with T.A. It was one of the most memorable for me, getting that connection to the past of Chuck Jones work and all the cartoons I grew up on and remember. I’ve visited the store quite a lot then, even took an ex, my college professor and my dad and step mom to meet Tom and Brenda. Brenda was the one responsible for getting to vote for Obama back in the elections. I even worked on art projects for his birthdays. And even hoped to have background material from Tom for an essay I still have on the back burner from one of the cartoons he was a crew on. It was a shame to see them move to Virgina Beach, but it was obvious business wasn’t doing well and couldn’t keep up here. I was about to make another birthday card for him, but it looks like it will be something different. A slowly forming crush for me that’ll have me sad for some time (atm tearing up), but I’m gratful to have that experience etched into my life. As I write this, I’m at a cafe that took over where the store used to be. Both places have done alot for me in different ways.
    Condolences to everyone in the family.