Ollie Johnston, a legendary animator for Walt Disney, died at age 95 of natural causes on Monday at a long-term care facility in Sequim, Wash., Walt Disney Studios said.
Johnston was the last of Disney's so-called Nine Old Men. Perhaps the two most accomplished of the nine were Johnston and his close friend Frank Thomas, who died in 2004 at age 92. The pair, who met as art students at Stanford University in the 1930s, were hired by Disney for $17 a week at a time when he was expanding the studio to produce full-length feature films. Both worked on the first of those features, 1937's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
Johnston's other credits include "Pinocchio," "Fantasia," "Song of the South," "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland," "Peter Pan," "Lady and the Tramp," "Sleeping Beauty," "101 Dalmatians," "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," "Robin Hood" and "The Rescuers."
After Johnston and Thomas retired in 1978, they lectured at schools and film festivals in the United States and Europe and co-authored books, including the epic "Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life." They were also the subjects of the 1995 documentary "Frank and Ollie," produced by Thomas' son Ted.
The pair's guide to animation is considered "the bible" among animators, said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar animation studios and Johnston's longtime friend.
Arturo Vivante, the author of more than 70 short stories for the New Yorker -- many set in the Tuscan hills of his native Italy and most bringing a delicate touch to poignant moments and vivid minutiae -- died on April 1 at his home in Wellfleet, Mass. He was 84. He had been ill for a long time, his daughter Lydia Vivante said.
"I wrote to know the mystery that even a small matter holds," Arturo Vivante said. Among those small matters were the moment a deaf woman tries to hear a nightingale; the lost chance for a kiss in a rowboat run aground, a small boy's friendship with a snake.
While most of Vivante's stories appeared in the New Yorker, starting in 1958, and later in collections of those works, he also wrote three novels.