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the 3rd floor entrance to Disney U.K., the Roger Rabbit Studio, in 1988.

I have just been informed that an old friend, John McCartney had passed away on October 16th. John (no relation to Paul McCartney) was an excellent 2d animator in the London Renaissance of animation commercials on the 1970s and 80s. I met him in London on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in 1987. After that project while many of his countrymen left Blighty to go to Hollywood, John remained in London where he joined Amblimation. His skills were contributed to Baldo, American Tale II, Freddy as F.R.O.7 and We're Back. Later transitioning to digital he worked on the famous special Walking with Dinosaurs and more.

John was a wonderful man of taste and gentility who has left us all too soon. A deep cello like baritone voice and the deep set eyes of the a true son of the race of Chaucer and Thomas Moore, he had the witty dry nihilism that leaves all us New World provincials charmed. During my time in England we had many wonderful conversations over many a pint. After I returned to LA we continued our correspondence on-line. Up to the end he enjoyed sending me corrections he spotted on my trivia columns.

John worked for awhile in a fine wine exporter shop, and he taught me the intricacies of judging good French wines. So now I know my Clos du Voughot from my Chassagny Montrachet. He also tried to inculcate me into the English mysteries of Morris Dancing and Cricket, but to no avail.

One night on Roger Rabbit we had all adjourned to our favorite pub the Edinborough Castle to send off one of our production interns, who was going on to the film A Fish Called Wanda. John, Roger Way and I, along with most of the crew had a "Well Ripened Debauch" as Wellington would put it. When Don Hahn, Pat and I were walking back to the Camden Town Tube Station in the cool damp night air, a gangly figure rushed past us. It was John, skipping down the road like Puck in a Midsummers Nights Dream. Later I heard he fell down the entire length of the Tube Stations main escalator which is quite high, I think around three stories tall, all steel. It's amazing he wasn't hurt. He reached the bottom, leapt up and murmuring "Sorry , Sorry…" to all around. He popped onto a train.

Adieu, Brother John! In my mind's eye you are still merrily skipping down that rain slicked street like Puck, only now on to sample the delicacies of Eternity. Our condolences to Iva and your children.



History for 10/18/2005
Birthdays: Cannaletto, Lotte Lenya, Wynton Marsalis, Leo G. Carroll, George C. Scott, Jesse Helms, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mike Dytka, Peter Boyle, Inger Stevens, Violetta Chamorro, Wendy Wasserstein, Wynton Marsalis, Martina Navratilova, Jean Claude Van Damme

FEAST OF ST. LUKE. According to ancient sources Luke was actually a physician, but Medieval tradition made him the protector of artists. In Rome during the Renaissance Titian, Rubens and El Greco were members of the Guild of St. Luke.

1776- A New York pub decorated with birds opened, customers ordered a drink they nicknamed a "Cocks Tail". The origin of the name.

1793- Napoleon gets his first job. Sub-lieutenant Napoleone Buonaparte promoted to major of artillery and posted to Toulon. He is 24. At 25 he will be a General,at 31 a dictator, at 35 an Emperor, at 46 unemployed and dead at 52.
Sounds like a career in Hollywood.

1896- Joseph Pulitzer's N.Y. Journal American created the first Sunday Color Comics supplement.

1922- The British Broadcast Corp or BBC formed.

1926- In Hollywood Sid Grauman's Egyptian Theater opens.

1931- Thomas Edison died peacefully at age 84. His last words were-
"It's beautiful over there..."

1950- In an emotional showdown in the Directors Guild all motions by C.B.DeMille and Frank Capra to extend the Hollywood anti-Communist blacklist to include expulsion from the Director's Guild are defeated. Billy Wilder, John Huston, John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy supported President Joe Mankiewicz who blocked the Blacklist Motions, and they also prevented a recall vote on Mankiewicz' s presidency.

1954- Hi & Lois comic strip debuted.

1967- Walt Disney's last cartoon done under his supervision "the Jungle Book." premiered. Disney had died the previous December. If you remember the film the end sequence Mowgli meets four vultures who talk like the Beatles but sing barbershop quartet. That’s because the characters were supposed to sing a Beatles parody song but the directors felt the group would soon be forgotten so they didn't want to date the film. The director of the Jungle Book, Woolie Reitherman, died when he drove his car into a tree in 1985.

1974- Tobe Hooper's low budget cult film Texas Chainsaw Massacre first opened. Despite one film critic calling it " a bunch of sick crap" it became a huge hit and spawned the Teen Slasher Movie genre.

1982- President Reagan said during a radio address:" My Fellow Americans, the economy is in a helluva mess....this microphone isn't on, is it?.."

1984- Young television star John Eric Hexum died after shooting himself with a prop pistol loaded with blanks. The concussion of compressed air shattered his skull at close range. He was playing at mock- Russian Roulette. His last words were "Lets see if I can do myself in this time!"