We are sad to report that animator Derek Lamb passed away on Monday after a long battle with cancer. Lamb won the Oscar for producing the poignant animated short Every Child in 1979, and most recently served as exec producer on the award-winning PBS animated series Peep and the Big Wide World. Among his other award-winning shorts are Special Delivery (1979) and The Hockey Sweater (1982).
Born in London, Lamb began his career with the National Film Board of Canada in the 1960s. He also served as director of the film board from 1976 to 1982. Fans of public TV’s long-running Mystery! Series will surely remember the show’s signature black-and-white opener, which Lamb animated based on the famous macabre drawings by the late artist Edward Gorey.
Lamb taught animation at Harvard and McGill universities and the National Institute of Design in India. He was also heavily involved with such children’s organizations as Save the Children, Norway, Street Kids international and UNICEF, lending his talents to productions promoting health and education for poor and marginalized children around the world. He is survived by his wife, Tracie Smart. His producing partner, Janet Perlman, wrote Jerry Beck and his Cartoon Brew blog to announce the news of Lamb’s passing.