On this day in 1976, veteran Disney animator John Lounsbery passed away at St. Joseph's Hospital (across from the Disney Studio) in California. At the time of his passing, he was still an employee - working on the next animated release The Rescuers.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1911, Lounsbery was raised in Colorado and eventually went to art school in Los Angeles. While attending the Art Center School of Design, one of his instructors suggested he go for an interview at the Disney Studio.
Lounsbery was hired by Disney as an assistant animator in December 1935. His first assignment was to assist Norm Ferguson with animating the Witch for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Lounsbery later worked on numerous shorts and features and became part of the elite group which Walt referred to as his "Nine Old Men." As an animation director, his credits include:
Dumbo, Song of the South, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, and Robin Hood.
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