November 11, 2022
Noted Long Time Batman Voice Legend and Actor Kevin Conroy has Passed Away!

The Animation Hall Of Fame family is sad to acknowledge the passing of noted stage, film, TV performer, and long-time Batman voice legend Kevin Conroy. He died on November 10, 2022 after a short battle with cancer, he was 66.
Conroy was born on November 30, 1955 in Westbury, New York, and raised in Westport, CT. After graduating high school, he began establishing himself in the acting community while under the tutelage of John Houseman at The Julliard School – where he studied alongside the likes of Christopher Reeve, Frances Conroy, and his roommate Robin Williams.
After Julliard, he began his career following his love of the theatre, keeping him on stage in both New York and at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. He received rave reviews for his starring performances in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Public Theater, Eastern Standard on Broadway, Arthur Miller's The Last Yankee, and in the title role of Hamlet at the 1984 New York Shakespeare Festival. In addition, he performed in films and television – most notably in the mid-1980s when he had recurring roles on Dynasty, Tour of Duty and Ohara; successful runs on soap operas Search for Tomorrow and Another World; guest roles on popular series like Cheers, Murphy Brown, Spenser: For Hire and Matlock; and numerous voice acting roles.
Conroy rose to voice acting fame as the title character of the landmark Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1996). His work spanned nearly 60 different productions, including 15 films – highlighted by the acclaimed Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; 15 animated series, spanning nearly 400 episodes and more than 100 hours of television; as well as two dozen video games. Conroy was also featured as a live-action Bruce Wayne in the Arrowverse's 2019-2020 "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event.
In recent years, Conroy was a notable fixture on the fan based Convention circuit and always made sure every fan who ever waited for him had a moment with their Batman.
Conroy is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, sister Trisha Conroy, and brother Tom Conroy. Memorial services are pending. He will always be an irreplaceable and eternal hero and voice talent in every sense of the word.  

October 26, 2022
Legendary Stop Motion Animation Producer, Director, Animator, and Composer Jules Bass has Passed Away!

The Animation Hall Of Fame family is deeply saddened to acknowledge the passing of legendary stop motion animation producer, director, animator, and composer Jules Bass. He died on October 25, 2022 of natural causes, he was 87.
Bass was born in Philadelphia on September 16, 1935. During his teenage years, he caught scarlet fever and nearly died from the disease. After graduating high school, he attended New York University and graduated earning a creative writing degree.
After graduating he got his first job working as a copywriter at a New York City advertising agency. Eventually, in 1955, he was offered a job at the American Broadcasting Company. While there he worked directly on projects with Arthur Rankin Jr., who would eventually become his future lifetime business partner. Bass was a copywriter and Rankin was an art director and they soon realized that their talents complemented each other.
Eventually, they both left ABC and formed their own production company Videocraft International in 1960. The pair initially made television commercials and then later that same year they produced their first syndicated television series, The New Adventures of Pinocchio, which was to be their first stop-motion animated project. In 1961, they produced a cel-animated series called Tales of The Wizard of Oz, which was expanded into their first prime-time network special, Return to Oz, on NBC in 1963.
In early 1964 they renamed the company to Rankin/Bass Productions before they produced the long-running stop-motion classic Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). Its success paved the way for their first theatrical feature classic Mad Monster Party (1967), TV specials like The Ballad of Smokey the Bear (1966), Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (1970) and Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971). Traditional hand-drawn animation was employed in features like The Wacky World of Mother Goose (1967), specials like Frosty the Snowman (1969), and television series like The King Kong Show (1966). Bass shared the director credit with Rankin for the aforementioned productions.
Bass wrote the lyrics for many of the films he directed, collaborating with composer Maury Laws. This began with his first solo directing project, the live-action/stop-motion feature The Daydreamer (1966). Bass also wrote for some of the company's specials and series under the pseudonym "Julian P. Gardner" (a moniker Rankin also sometimes used; it combined "Jules" with the name of one of Rankin's sons), some of which include The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow, The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus, and the Emmy Award nominated The Little Drummer Boy, Book II (1977). With Laws, he wrote songs performed by Fred Astaire, Danny Kaye, Mickey Rooney, Ed Wynn, Patty Duke, Ray Bolger, Shirley Booth, John Huston, Roddy McDowall, Danny Thomas, José Ferrer, Vincent Price, Phyllis Diller, Boris Karloff, and the Vienna Boys' Choir. Bass also adapted the verse of J. R. R. Tolkien, approved by the Tolkien estate, into musicalized lyrics for the first completed film adaptation of The Hobbit, in 1977. The animated feature, produced for NBC, was awarded the Peabody Award.
In the 1980's Bass and Rankin created the hit cartoon television series ThunderCats (1985–1989) and the classic American musical television film The Wind in the Willows (1987). After completing the latter Bass decided to leave producing and filmmaking and dedicated himself to penning children's books. Those included the highly garnered Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon and Cooking with Herb. He also wrote fiction for adults including Headhunters, which was adapted into the 2011 Selena Gomez feature, Monte Carlo.
Bass's passing was preceded by the death of his daughter, Jean Nicole Bass, who passed in January 2022 at 61 years old.
Thank you for sharing all of your great pioneering talent through the visionary stop motion and traditionally animated creations with us. They will not only be cherished throughout the Christmas holiday season, but also throughout the rest of the year and for generations to come.  

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September 16, 2022
Acclaimed Independent Israeli Animation Director Gil Alkabetz has passed away!

The Animation Hall Of Fame family is sad to acknowledge the passing of the greatest Israeli independent animation director Gil Alkabetz. He died on September 15, 2022, after taking his own life; he was 65.
Gil Alkabetz was born on December 2, 1957 in Mashabei Sade Kibbutz, Israel. He studied Graphic Design at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and he graduated with honors in 1983. His graduation film, Bitz Butz, received awards at numerous international festivals.
After graduating, Alkabetz worked in an animation studio Frame by Frame in Jerusalem for numerous years. Additionally at this time he worked as a freelance animator and illustrator and taught at various art schools in Israel, United States, Switzerland, and Germany.
In 1995 Alkabetz moved to Stuttgart, where he was an independent filmmaker and also served as a professor of animation at the Konrad Wolf Film University Babelsberg in Potsdam.
His best-known and critically acclaimed films are 2005's Morir de Amor, which won awards at numerous international festivals, and Rubicon (1997), which screened in competition at Cannes, Alkabetz's animated shorts include Swamp (1992 - Special Jury Prize, Ottawa International Animation Festival), Yankale (1996), Ein sonniger Tag (2007), Wollmond (2009), Der Da Vinci Timecode (2009), One Stormy Night (2019), and Beseder (2021). Notable among his commissioned projects were his collaboration with the director Tom Tykwer on animation clips for the acclaimed feature film Run Lola Run, and his design of Bamba's baby mascot, one of the most well-known animated characters in Israeli advertising.
Alkabetz was a member of the German Film Academy and currently had worked as Guest Professor at the Film & Television Academy HFF <Konrad Wolf> in Potsdam-Babelsberg.
Alkabetz is survived by his wife Nurit Israeli and his son Mika, as well as his father, a brother, and a sister.  

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August 29, 2022
American Animation Director, Animator, Art Director, Storyboard Artist, and Production Designer Ralph Eggleston has passed away!

The Animation Hall Of Fame family is sad to acknowledge the passing of one of the most talented and versatile animation artist Ralph Eggleston. He died on August 28, 2022, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer; he was 56.
Ralph Eggleston was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana on October 18, 1965. After graduating from high school in 1983 he attended the California Institute of the Arts and in 1986 he graduated from the Film/Video major with honors.
After graduating his first significant contribution in the entertainment industry was as the chief animator under director Brad Bird for the 1987 episode "Family Dog" for Steven Spielberg's anthology series Amazing Stories. Following this project he worked as an animator for Kroyer Films on numerous projects for television and film in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including serving as art director for the 1992 film FernGully: The Last Rainforest. He also worked as an animator on several projects with Walt Disney Animation Studios, including the films Aladdin, The Lion King, and Pocahontas.
In 1992 Eggleston was hired as an art director at the now legendary Pixar animation studio. His first assignment was to help develop Pixar's first animated feature film Toy Story. After Toy Story he continued to design or art directed on numerous other Pixar films such as A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, WALL-E, and Inside Out. Additionally in 2000 he wrote and directed the Pixar short film For the Birds, which won the Academy Award For Best Animated Short in 2002.
Over the many years of his career Eggleston was awarded other numerous awards and accolades for his work. These included Toy Story, for which he won his first Annie Award, for Best Individual Achievement: Production Design. This would be followed by three more Annie Awards: Outstanding Production Design in an Animated Feature for Finding Nemo in 2004; Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated Feature Production for Inside Out in 2015; and the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in 2016. He was also honored with the VIEW Visionary Award in 2019.
Thank you so much for giving and sharing with us your visionary talent, which we will continue to enjoy and cherish.  

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August 24, 2022
Famed Filmmaker And Oscar-Nominated Animator Gerald Potterton has passed away!

The Animation Hall Of Fame family is sad to acknowledge the passing of British–Canadian director, writer, producer and animator Gerald Potterton. He died on August 23, 2022; he was 91.
Potterton was born in London, England on March 8, 1931. After finishing secondary school he attended the Hammersmith College of Art and Building. He excelled in not only the fine arts, but also the newly developed entertainment arts program specializing in animation and live action production. After graduating he stared working as an assistant animator for various animation studios in London. In 1954 he was given the opportunity to join the National Film Board of Canada and to work alongside the pioneers of NFB animation. So he emigrated from England to permanently live in Cowansville, Quebec, Canada.
While at the NFB he created animation for NFB films in the 50s before directing his own classic shorts, including the Stephen Leacock adaptation My Financial Career and Christmas Cracker (co-directed with Norman McLaren, Jeff Hale and Grant Munro), both of which were nominated for Academy Awards. Potterton also made his mark in live-action comedy with The Ride and the multi-award-winning film-without-words The Railrodder, starring the great Buster Keaton in one of his last film roles.
During these many years he helped develop and was part of a new wave of storytelling; one that was fresh and irreverent; and he brought great wit and creativity to every project. He was also a builder, helping to lay the foundation for the independent Canadian animation industry.
In 1966 he returned to England to work on the animated Beatles feature Yellow Submarine, followed by a collaboration with Harold Pinter on the innovative NBC TV special Pinter People, during which he began a lifelong friendship and collaboration with actor Donald Pleasence.
In 1969 he returned to Canada and formed Potterton Productions. It was a prolific independent production house for film and TV projects, including his animated short Oscar Wilde adaptation of The Selfish Giant, which netted him his third Oscar nomination.
In 1979 producer Ivan Reitman approached Potterton about the possibility of directing and heading up the animation for an animated feature film he was producing called Heavy Metal. Potterton knew about the Heavy Metal magazine that the film was to be based on and did like the drawings in the various issues that he had seen. He took on the project convincing Reitman to not just tell the centralized ninety minute story in one style, but to tell five or six different stories just like in the magazine and tied together with one binding element. By the films completion, Potterton had not only directed the film, but also supervised the work of more than 65 animators in Canada, England and the U.S. It was released in the summer of 1981 to both critical acclaim and as a financial success.
After Heavy Metal Potterton collaborated with the NFB once again. This time on his second Leacock adaptation, The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones, and co-created the animated children's series Smoggies.
In the decades that followed he would once again take up painting and was known for his historically accurate aviation paintings and extraordinary skies. He remained active and prolific into the 21st century, continuing to develop film and TV projects as well as pursuing other artistic endeavors from his farm in Knowlton, Quebec. In 2020, he wrote and illustrated a popular children's book about Joseph-Armand Bombardier, L'homme des neiges, published by Éditions Québec Amérique.
Potterton was nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film: as director on the National Film Board of Canada animated shorts My Financial Career and Christmas Cracker, and as producer for The Selfish Giant. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts; selected by the World Animation Celebration in 1998 as one of "Ten Men Who Have Rocked the Animation World". Additionally, there have been over a dozen retrospectives and lifetime honors for his work in recent years, including at the 1994 Ottawa Animation Film Festival and the 1997 Seattle Film Festival, as well as in India in 2000.
Thank you so much for giving us so many great memorable animation and film moments throughout your many decades of creation and work. Your inspiring visionary talents will continue on through everyone that you have touched.  

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