Very sad news today: New York animation legend Tissa David passed away last night at age 91. Michael Sporn broke the news on his blog and gives a recount of her career better than anyone one else could. Animator David Nethery wrote an appreciation of Tissa a few years ago on his website.

Tissa David was New York’s master animator for over five decades. Born in Transylvania, Tissa moved to Paris in 1950, where she worked for producers Jean Image and Paul Grimault. In 1955 she moved to New York where she worked as Grim Natwick’s assistant at UPA. Her work for John Hubley included commercials, shorts and features. Tissa may be best known to the public for developing and animating “Raggedy Ann” in Richard Williams’ 1977 feature Raggedy Ann and Andy. In 1978 she began a long stint animating for R. O. Blechman (including on Simple Gifts and A Soldier’s Tale).

Below, in tribute, is something we posted here a few years ago, a fuzzy video copy of one of Tissa’s pencil test from the “Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers” scene in Raggedy Ann and Andy.

For a lot more on Tissa David’s life, I urge you to visit Michael Sporn’s Splog and read John Canemaker’s piece in The Wall Street Journal.