Tim Onosko (1947-2007)

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I didn’t really know the late Tim Onosko personally, but I always admired his writings. We’d corresponded a few times throughout the years and thus I was saddend to hear today of his passing.

I first became aware of Onosko with his transcription of a Bob Clampett Q&A in The Velvet Light Trap (Bob Clampett: Cartoonist, No. 15, Fall 1975), a piece that desparately needs to be reprinted or posted on the web. He went on to write articles about the future, the past, about film and amusement parks, so it was no wonder he’d end up working at Disney in various capacities, including in the development of Epcot, and designing Disney Adventures magazine.

Onosko later worked for Universal Studios and most recently produced a documentary, Lost Vegas: The Lounge Era.

He was one of us–and he’ll be missed.


  • http://doubleben.blogspot.com/ Emmett Goodman

    That is sad.

    I never knew of Tim Onosko. However, I used to read Disney Adventures all the time when I was much younger. I can even recall some of the features the magazine used to have, particularly in the summertime when the Disney features would come out. Although I stopped reading the magazine as I got older, I still recall it from time to time, especially when watching Disney movies like THE LION KING and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.

    Thank you from that magazine, Tim Onosko.

  • http://vincemusacchia.blogspot.com Vince Musacchia

    What’s preventing YOU from reprinting Mr. Onosko’s Bob Clampett piece? Just curious.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Vince – I’ll do it when I get a chance if no one beats me to it. I’m literally up to my eyeballs in work this month. I was kinda hoping someone else would do it (and we would give a generous plug).

  • http://disneybooks.blogspot.com Didier Ghez

    Jerry – Tim was kind enough to allow me to use his interview in my upcoming book Bugs’ Buddies (to be released sometime in 2008). I was absolutely shocked to hear last week of his passing through his wife, as he had been extremely kind in his emails and did not give any hint that he was terribly sick. Bugs’ Buddies will be dedicated to his memory.

  • Bill Cross

    I DID know Tim throughout my college years at the UW. He also stayed at my home in Orlando when he was researching his amusement park book “Funland USA.” His success came as no surprise to me. He was a man bursting with talent.

    I also remember his love of classic cartoons. Back in the 70′s when I was still in Madison, I can remember a party he threw (with his future wife Beth) where he showed us some UB Iwerks cartoons that he had unearthed. It was the first chance any of us had to see them.

    Tim had kind of a “prickly” personality that rubbed some people the wrong way, but I always liked and admired him. Although we did not keep in touch, I was saddened to read about his death. He will be missed.

  • Bob Lindstrom

    Tim and I worked together while I was producing at Disney in the mid-90s. He was a wonderful man and we hit it off immediately. I remember SO fondly having dinner with Tim in Santa Monica and then, after going to our cars, still hanging around in the parking lot, keeping the conversation going on Disney, movies, technology, and life in general.

    Our collaboration and friendship was one of the true high points of my life, professional and personal.

  • Al McCormick

    I know its short notice but there will be a memorial service in Madison at the Nakoma Golf Club April 15 starting at 2pm.

    Here’s an article from Madison’s Capital Times about Tim’s last project. I knew him from when I used to hang out at the Madison Commodore PET Users Group back in the early 80s. Since I was only a middle school kid back then, I often felt out of place in a room filled with University engineers and other technogeeks. Tim was somebody I could relate to. He did a few presentations for the club and I remember enjoying them. I wish I could remember more aside from him with his cigarette in hand and his jacket (which made him stand out like a sore thumb in a room full of tshirts and oxfords).

    I remember one time he came to the meeting late and he brought a new Sony watchman so he could watch a Wednesday night baseball game. Back then, that was an impressive toy. The last time I ran into him was probably around 83-84 at a fast food joint on East Washington ave. After that, I just read his stuff in Omni (one of my favorite mags back in the 80s).

    I wish I knew about his illness before I read about it in Doug Moe’s column. My little brother and I are big fans of Warner Bros cartoons and I’m sure we could have talked for hours.

  • Dennis Etler

    Really sad to belatedly learn of Tim’s death. I was a schoolmate of his at UW-Madison in the late 1960s and early 70s. It was a brief association but one of the highlights from those years. A number of us got together, rented an old warehouse, put up a screen and had one of the first movie marathons, 24 hours straight of classic movies. It was a big hit and attendance far exceeded our expectations. Included was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a famous German silent film from 1920. I had the brilliant idea of using Bartok’s String Quartet’s as an accompaniment. It was a perfect match. Tim was the inspiration for the whole episode and I remember it fondly.