Ryan Larkin (1943-2007)

Ryan Larkin

Canadian animation legend Ryan Larkin passed away on February 14 from brain cancer. Larkin directed and animated the 1969 Oscar-nominated short Walking, as well as Syrinx (1965), Cityscape (1966) and Street Musique (1972). The news of Larkin’s passing comes from Ottawa International Animation Festival artistic director Chris Robinson who heard the news from Chris Landreth, director of the Oscar-winning short Ryan (2004), which documented Larkin’s amazing art and troubled life. Larkin had recently been making a comeback into the animation world; his most recent pieces—a series of three interstitials—had appeared on MTV Canada in December 2006. Ryan’s official website is

Here are a few more details about Larkin’s passing from an email written by his longtime friend, Felicity Fanjoy:

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.

Update: Interesting memories of Ryan Larkin here and here. A nice obit can be found in the Montreal Gazette.

Below are Larkin’s short Syrinx and Chris Landreth’s short Ryan. (Thanks, Rogelio Toledo)

Street Musique

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