Animators

Who Are The Oldest Living Animation Artists?

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 99th birthday party of animator Willis Pyle. Pyle has had a cartoon career for the ages. On Pinocchio, he cleaned up Milt Kahl’s scene of Jiminy Cricket getting dressed while running to work. He was a key animator during the early days of UPA and animated on the studio’s first theatrical short for Columbia, Robin Hoodlum, as well as the first Mister Magoo short Ragtime Bear. In the classic UPA film Gerald McBoing Boing, Pyle animated the climactic scene of Gerald performing sound effects at the radio station.

I’m incredibly grateful that we still have living links to the Golden Age of animation like Willy, and attending his party made me wonder who else is still around. The list below is every animation industry veteran I can think of who is 85 years or older. I’m sure there are plenty of others too, and I invite you to help fill out the list. The growth and development of our art form owes much to these men and women.

  • Kaj Pindal – 85 years old
  • Yoji Kuri – 85 years old
  • Bob Singer – 85 years old (?)
  • Bob Balser – 86 years old
  • Dean Spille – 86 years old
  • Rudy Cataldi – 86 years old
  • Sam Clayberger – 87 years old
  • Stan Freberg – 87 years old
  • Ken Mundie – 87 years old (?)
  • Walt Peregoy – 88 years old (?)
  • Ray Favata – 89 years old
  • Arthur Rankin, Jr. – 89 years old
  • Gene Deitch – 89 years old
  • Frédéric Back – 89 years old
  • Janet Waldo – 89 years old(?)
  • John Stephenson – 90 years old
  • Jim Fekete (far left) – 90 years old
  • Joe Siracusa – 91 years old
  • Charles Csuri – 91 years old
  • Vera Linnecar – 91 years old(?)
  • Borge Ring – 92 years old
  • David Weidman – 92 years old (?)
  • Harold Whitaker – 93 years old
  • June Patterson – 93 years old
  • X. Atencio (pictured right) – 94 years old
  • Eddie Lawrence – 94 years old
  • Al Pabian – 95 years old
  • Blaine Gibson – 95 years old
  • June Foray – 95 years old
  • Bob Givens – 95 years old
  • Alice Provensen (right) – 95 years old
  • Martha Sigall – 96 years old
  • Auril Thompson – 96 years old
  • Hal Geer – 97 years old(?)
  • Willis Pyle – 99 years old
  • Don Lusk – 99 years old
  • Milton Quon – 100 years old
  • Tyrus Wong – 102 years old
  • Ruthie Thompson – 103 years old

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