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I just got this from Tina Price at the Creative Talent Network this night-

courtesy of Leonard

Disney Legend and the last surviving member of Walt's Nine Old Men, Ollie Johnston passed away today in Sequim, Washington at the age of 95. Affectionately known as Frank's better half, Ollie Johnston along with Frank Thomas created the classic animation bible "The Illusion of Life" and created some of the most memorable characters and animation during the Golden Age of Animation that made us laugh, cry and think.

A quote by Maya Angelou - "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Ollie will live on forever through his characters.- Tina Price

I first met Ollie and Frank in 1974 at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Walt Disney Studios at Lincoln Center in NY. I was a terrified young whelp just out of the High School of Art and Design. If you could believe it, I barely managed to burble a few pleasantries, when faced with such real live animation legends. We became friends and kept up a dialogue over many years.

Although in public Frank was the more outgoing speaker and Ollie was more subdued, I confess I find myself using the quotations of Ollie more when I teach new animators.

He had a great way of expressing complex ideas in animation in a concise usable sentence. For instance his answer to the use of live action reference:

"The point of Disney Animation is not to copy real life, rather it is to caricature real life. It is life- plus."

With Oliver Johnston here passes the last of one of the greatest concentrations of artistic talent in the history of the world. The crew assembled by Walt Disney in the late 1930's to do feature films as well as high quality shorts. The most talked about, studied, emulated and admired phalanx of film artists of our time.
We will not see their like again.

Adieu Ollie, brilliant artist, animator, devoted family man, writer and friend.

Leonardo said: "As a good days work brings forth a good nights rest, so a life well lived brings forth a good death."