Ruthie Tompson dies, beloved Disney Animation Legend was 111

Legendary longtime Disney animation tutor, Ruthie Tompson, has died at the age of 111. Disney chairman Robert Iger shared the news via Twitter. Loved ones, friends and fans shared their admiration for Ruthie and her masterful work.

“RIP Ruthie Thompson … a true animation legend. Her contribution to Disney – from Snow White to The Rescuers – remains beloved classics to this day. Although we will miss her smile and wonderful sense of humor, her unique work and pioneering spirit will forever inspire us. “

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Ruthie was born in Portland, Maine, on July 22, 1910 and grew up in Boston, MA, until her family moved to California in 1918. They first arrived in Oakland on November 11, Armistice Day, which marked the end of World War I. She would later remember, during the end of the party, that she and others wore masks over their faces to protect themselves from the flu, which at the time was an epidemic.

Ruthie and her family lived in Hollywood in the 1920s, just a short distance from the then upstart Disney Bros. Studio on Kingswell Avenue.

“I used to walk past the store in Disney Bros.,” she once remembered. “I was curious and snooping around, and finally they invited me in for a look. After that, I would visit quite often. I remember sitting on the bench and watching Roy shoot the animated cells on film.”

“Once, Roy asked the neighborhood kids to play tag on the street while he was photographing us with a movie camera,” she continued. “It simply came to our notice then Alice Comedies; he paid us each a quarter, which I was glad because I could buy licorice. “

After graduating from Hollywood High School as an 18-year-old, she was hired at Dubrock’s Riding Academy, where Walt and Roy Disney could be found regularly playing polo. She was quickly offered a job by Walt herself as a painter in the ink and paint department, where she helped put the finishing touches on the studio’s first animated film in the long run. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, who hit the silver screen in 1937. She would go on to have an unsurpassed career working on almost every Disney animated film through The rescuers before retiring in 1975.

Ruthie was asked, on her 110th birthday. the secret behind her life she replied: “It’s because I’m a vampire!”; “How can I tell you my secret, because then it’s not a secret!”; “I’m a dummy for living that long!” Then she gets serious. “I do not know why I am still here, but I know I will not be honored for how old I am, I want to be known for who I am.”

Her credits include films that have delighted generations for nearly a century.

Lonely ghosts (1937) (ink and paint – not credited) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs(ink and paint – not credited) (1937) Pinocchio (1940) Fantasy (1940) Dumbo (1941) Donald and Mathmagic Land (stage planner – uncredited) (1959) Sleeping Beauty (piece and stage planner – uncredited) (1959) Mary Poppins (stage planner – not credited) (1964) The Aristocrats (stage planner – uncredited) (1970) Robin Hood (stage manager – uncredited) (1973) Winnie the Pooh and Beggar too (short; 1974) The rescuers (1977) Wisdom for a well-led life? She replies, “Have fun. Try to do as much as you can for yourself. Remember all the good things in life.”

Topics: Disney, Obituaries

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