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Arthur Rankin Jr., Rankin/Bass Co-Founder, 1924 - 2014

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The Royal Gazette of Bermuda reported that Arthur Rankin, Jr. passed away at his home by Harrington Sound on January 31, 2014, at the age of 90. Rankin was half of the famed Rankin-Bass duo, which produced some of the best beloved animated Christmas TV specials of all time, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty […]

Michael Sporn, Animator, 1946 - 2014

Animator Michael Sporn taken in 2010.

Independent animator Michael Barrier reports on the passing of fellow animator Michael Sporn on January 19, 2014, at the age of 67 due to pancreatic cancer. Sporn’s career in animation was heralded by a powerful interest in the medium from a very young age, thanks to several then-new how-to books on animation published in the […]

Hal Sutherland, Co-Founder of Filmation, 1929 - 2014

Hal Sutherland

The Saturday Morning Historical Reenactment Society weblog has noted the passing of Hal Sutherland on January 16, 2014, due to health complications from a gall bladder issue. Sutherland began his career in animation in 1954 working with Disney on Sleeping Beauty, before moving on to Larry Harmon Pictures where he met Lou Schiemer. The pair […]

Russell Johnson, "Gilligan's Island" Professor, 1924 - 2014

Russell Johnson 1924 - 2013

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Russell Johnson has died earlier this morning in his home in Washington. He was 89. Johnson was known as Roy Hinkley, better known as The Professor, for three years on the classic TV show Gilligan’s Island. He also reprised the role in 3 TV movies and the animated spin-offs The […]

Saul Zaentz, Film Producer, 1921 - 2014

Saul Zaentz

Independent film producer Saul Zaentz passed away on Friday, January 3, 2014, in San Francisco, CA, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 92. Zaentz entered the entertainment industry in 1955 as a salesman for Fantasy Records, which he purchased with partners in 1967. A year later, Zaentz made his first fortune by signing […]

Peter O'Toole, Actor, 1932 - 2013

Peter O'Toole

Veteran actor Peter O’Toole passed away on December 14, 2013, at the age of 81. Obituaries are not mentioning a specific cause of death, but his daughter Kate O’Toole has stated that her father had been ill for some time. O’Toole was best-known for his role as Col. T.E. Lawrence in David Lean’s Lawrence of […]

Danny Wells, Actor, 1941 - 2013

Danny Wells as Luigi

Actor Danny Wells passed away on November 28, 2013, in Toronto, Canada, at the age of 72. Wells may be best known to animation fans as Luigi the plumber (both in voice-over and on-camera) on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! alongside Captain Lou Albano as the title character. Wells also had a number of […]

Michael Ansara, Actor, 1922 - 2013

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The Hollywood Reporter reports that actor Michael Ansara passed away on July 31st at his home in Calabasas after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91. Ansara was born in a small village in Syria to American parents. He was known in the TV westerns Broken Arrow and the Rifleman spin-off Law of […]

Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion Animator, 1920 - 2013

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Legendary stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen passed away on May 7, 2013, in London at the age of 92. He was born in Los Angeles, CA, on June 29, 1920, and his love for stop-motion animation began after watching 1933′s King Kong, leading him to create his own stop-motion films in his garage before moving to […]

Jonathan Winters 1925-2013

Jonathan Winters

The Hollywood Reporter reports that actor and comedian Jonathan Winters passed away Thursday in his home in Montecito, California of natural causes.  He was 87. Winters was best known for playing a series of characters including Maude Frickert.  His movie roles included It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!, […]

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