AceShowbiz - Disney trailblazer Ruthie Tompson has died, aged 111. The beloved animator spent four decades working at at the Walt Disney Co. working on films from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" to "The Rescuers".
She died on Sunday, October 10 at the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.
In a statement mourning her death, Bob Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, The Walt Disney Company, said, "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." He continued to pay tribute, "While we will miss her smile and wonderful sense of humor, her exceptional work and pioneering spirit will forever be an inspiration to us all."
Tompson is credited with helping to establish the technology used to photograph animated scenes and background art onto film.
Born in Portland, Maine, Tompson and her family settled in Los Feliz, near Walt Disney's first studio. Her curiosity led her to the place and she was invited to be part of one of Roy Disney's home videos.
Years later, she was working at Dubrock's Riding Academy in the San Fernando Valley, where the Disney brothers were learning to play polo, and she was offered a job. Her mathematical skills helped animators on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" figure out the logistics of camera moves and she became a studio favorite.
She was part of the teams that worked on films like "Fantasia", "Alice in Wonderland", "Sleeping Beauty", and "The Jungle Book". Tompson retired in 1975 after working on "The Rescuers".
She was officially named a Disney Legend in 2000.