Animator, Illustrator and Teacher Corny Cole Dies at 81

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We were saddened by the passing of beloved animator, illustrator, painter and teacher Cornelius “Corny” Cole who passed away this morning (Monday, Aug. 8th) at the age of 81 from MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) Cartoon Brew reported his passing via his good friend animator Bob Kurtz.

Born and raised in Southern California, Cole got his first break in the business as an in-betweener on Disney’s Lady & the Tramp, after studying fine arts at the Chouinard Art School. After stints at UPA and Warner Bros. Cartoons, he became a production designer on Gay Purr-ee (1962) and The Phantom Tollbooth (1969). He also designed The Ant and the Aardvark for DePatie-Freleng and worked as layout artist on The Pink Panther Show (1969). In 1970 Cole designed the Oscar-winning animated short Is It Right to be Right?

Among his other notable production design work are Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962), Shinbone Alley (1971), Raggedy Ann & Andy (1977), Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (1981), The Chimpunks TV series, He was also the title designer for the Mr. Terrific TV series (1966) and the 1974 feature Flesh Gordon. He worked as designer on Heavy Metal (1981) design development for the 1989 feature Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland and the 1994 PBS special David Macaulay: Roman City.

Titles for Mr. Terrific, designed by Corny Cole

Titles for Mr. Terrific, designed by Corny Cole

Cole was also a faculty member at Cal Arts for more than 15 years and taught life drawing at U.S.C. Information about memorial services are pending. We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends and those who were fortunate enough to know him throughout the years.

  • Gary Perkovac

    What a great man in our business. He will be remembered.