Ground-breaking Disney animator, Ruthie Tompson, has passed away at the age of 111.
Disney revealed the sad news of the renowned pioneers passing yesterday evening (October 11) in a statement that read: “Ruthie was a legend among animators, and her creative contributions to Disney—from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Rescuers—remain beloved classics to this day.”
Later adding: “While we will miss her smile and wonderful sense of humour, her exceptional work and pioneering spirit will forever be an inspiration to us all.”
It was revealed that the trailblazing animator died on Sunday at her home at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.
Growing up near Disney Bros. Cartoon Studio on Kingswell Avenue in Hollywood, Tompson became fascinated by the new working practices she marvelled at through the studio’s windows.
Eventually, she was lucky enough to meet Walt Disney himself and he offered her a job as a painter when she was 18 years old and thereafter she never looked back.
Over the course of her career, she worked on such films as the original animated version of The Lord of the Rings, The AristoCats, Sleeping Beauty and even Mary Poppins. By the time she retired in 1975 after completing work on The Rescuers, she had become such an important figure for the company that she would be officially named a Disney Legend in 2000.
On her 110th Birthday, Tompson laid down her life lesson in a conversation about her beloved Dodgers baseball team: “Have fun…Try to do as much as you can for yourself. Remember all the good things in life.”