Ruthie Tompson


October 28, 2021

Ruthie Tompson (born Ruth Irene Tompson; Portland, Maine; July 22, 1910-Los Angeles, California; October 10, 2021) [1] [2] was an American animator known primarily for her work on animated films produced by The Walt Disney Company.


She was born on July 22, 1910 in Portland, Maine, and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She then she moved with her family to Oakland, California, in November 1918, when she was eight years old. In 1924, her parents divorced and her mother, Arlene, remarried artist John Roberts. The family moved to Los Angeles, to a house located on the same block as the home of Robert Disney, Walt Disney's uncle. This is where Roy and Walt Disney lived when they first arrived in Los Angeles. [3] As she explained in an interview, Tompson met the Disneys when she visited her neighbor's new baby Robert hers. The location of The Walt Disney Company, then known as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, was not far from her home: she was on the way to elementary school. She was invited into the office after she was many times outside of it and watched them work through a window. She visited the office often and ended up appearing in the Alice Comedies. [3] At the age of eighteen, Tompson began working at the Dubrock Riding Academy, where Roy and Walt Disney often played polo. Walt Disney remembered Tompson when she was young and offered her a job as an inker. After training as an inker, Tompson was transferred to the Painting Department, where she helped with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. After working on several more Disney films, Tompson was promoted to the position of Final Checker, where she reviewed the animation cells before they were photographed for the film. Tompson continued to work for Disney and was promoted to Animation Checker during World War II, where she worked on training and education films for the United States Armed Forces, starring Disney characters such as Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. By 1948, Tompson was working in the Camera Department, developing camera movements and mechanisms for shooting animations. She became one of the first three women admitted to the International Union of Photographers, Local 659 of the IATSE. Tompson continued her rise within the studio, eventually becoming the supervisor of the Screen Planning Department. [4] Tompson retired in 1975, after working for The Walt Disney Company for almost forty years. During her retirement, she worked for an internal television channel at the Casa de Campo Film and Television Fund (MPTF), where she lived. Tompson was the oldest member of Women in Animation. In 2000, Tompson was honored by the Disney Legends program and received the Disney Legends Award for her work at Walt Disney Studios. In 2017, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored Tompson for her contributions to the animation industry. [3] Tompson passed away in Los Angeles on October 10, 2021, at the age of 111.


External links

Ruthie Tompson at the Internet Movie Database.

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