Published On: Sun, Aug 18th, 2019

Who framed Roger Rabbit animator Richard Williams dies aged 86 | Ents & Arts News

Oscar-winning animator Richard Williams has died at the age of 86, his daughter has confirmed.

Williams was best known for his work on the cartoon bunny in the 1988 classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which won two Oscars for its blend of animations and live action.

He also animated the title sequences for the 1970s comedy classics The Return Of The Pink Panther and The Pink Panther Strikes Again, and worked on Casino Royale.

Williams had cancer but was “still animating and writing until the day he died”, his daughter Natasha Sutton Williams said.

Ms Sutton Williams said her father “really wanted to learn about the world.”

She recounted that when Williams was 15 he made a trip to Disney and waited at the gates to meet all the lead animators who later taught him and became his friends.

Animator Richard Williams with his wife producer Imogen Sutton at the Oscars in 2016
Williams with his wife, producer Imogen Sutton, at the Oscars in 2016

Williams told the BBC in 2008: “I always wanted, when I was a kid, to get to Disney. I was a clever little fellow so I took my drawings and I eventually got in.

“They did a story on me, and I was in there for two days, which you can imagine what it was like for a kid.”

After that he said he was advised to learn how to draw properly and admitted he “lost all interest in animation” until he was 23 – focusing on painting.

He said he was drawn back to the craft because his “paintings were trying to move”.

Williams’ first film The Little Island was released in 1958 and won a Bafta and his 1971 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol won him an Oscar.

He also wrote a booked called The Animator’s Survival Kit.

Williams was born in Toronto, Canada, and moved to Britain in the 1950s.

He died at his home in Bristol and is survived by his wife and longtime collaborator, Imogen Sutton, their two children, and four children from two previous marriages.

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