In The News

Award winning animator Bob Godfrey passes away

Award winning animator Bob Godfrey passes away

THE award winning animator Bob Godfrey has passed away at the age of 91.

Mr. Godfrey will be best remembered for his cartoons Roobarb (see below) and Henry’s Cat which were much loved by children.

But in a career which spanned 50 years, he also produced work which was very much aimed at adults with such productions as Henry 9 to 5 and the Kama Sutra Rides Again.

He won an Oscar in 1975 for the short film Great — a tongue-in-cheek biography of the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Born in Australia, his parents returned to Britain when he was still a baby and he was brought up in Ilford, Essex. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Marines as a commando and was injured in the D-Day Landings.

He began his career as a graphic artist working in advertising before beginning to develop his skills as an animator. There was also a spell with a company which made the first ads for the fledgling commercial television sector in Britain during the 1950s.

But he wanted to concentrate his efforts on animation. However, he was determined to develop a style away from the Disney-esque type of features.

Friend and fellow animator Richard Williams, speaking on the BBC’s Today show, gave an insight into Mr. Godrey’s approach: “Bob was always against doing mountains of drawings. He said ‘the trouble was ... all the professionals are stuck in a rut, and the amateurs are not good enough — I’m an ‘am-pro’. Am-pro is the solution’.”

Mr. Williams said his friend was “hilarious”, adding: “He was a wonderful, marvellous guy. He was his own man. I never met anyone like him.”

As well as being an Academy Award winner, Mr. Godfrey also received three Baftas. He received an M.B.E. in 1986.

He continued to work into his 80s with his final work being Millennium: The Musical — a cartoon which condensed a thousand years of British history and which was made for Channel 4 in 1999.

To see an excerpt from Roobarb, click here.

To view part of an interview in which Mr. Godfrey talked about his work, click here.

View previous In the News items: Kevin Ayers of sixties band Soft Machine passes away, Beatles pay tribute to early collaborator Tony Sheridan, Gameshow host Derek Batey passes away, Tributes are paid to the actor Richard Briers, American country singer Mindy McCready is dead at 37, Tributes are paid to screenwriter Alan Sharp, Film special effects expert Petro Vlahos passes away, Government agency updates service for bereaved relatives, Dave Clark Five member Rick Huxley passes away, Tributes are paid to table tennis player who helped make history, Tributes are paid to movie makeup artist Stuart Freeborn, Onedin Line star Peter Gilmore passes away, Actor Robin Sachs passes away, Remains found beneath carpark are those of King Richard III, Funeral of veteran sports journalist Malcolm Brodie takes place, Tributes are paid to former New York mayor Ed Koch, Artist and writer Ceija Stojka passes away, Wildlife filmmaker Eamon de Buitlear passes away, Journalist and historian Stanley Karnow passes away, Funeral takes place of Una Finnegan, Funeral takes place of veteran campaigner Inez McCormack, Film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner passes away, American civil rights pioneer James Hood passes away, Tributes are paid to actress Sophiya Haque, Actor Conrad Bain passes away, Tributes are paid to teacher saved by Oskar Schindler, Crossword setter uses puzzle to reveal he is dying, Broadcaster and historian Robert Kee passes away, Tributes are paid to former fast food executive Fred Turner, Oldest man in Britain Reg Dean passes away, Listen with Mother presenter Daphne Oxenford passes away, Former British prisoner of war passes away, Singer Patti Page passes away, Actor Harry Carey Jnr passes away, Tributes are paid to soul singer Fontella Bass, Former England cricket captain Tony Greig passes away, Gulf War general Norman Schwarzkopf passes away, Tributes are paid to the creator of Thunderbirds, Record holding woman dies aged 115, Tributes are paid to former newsreader Kenneth Kendall, Inventor of the barcode passes away, Indian musician Ravi Shankar passes away, Tributes are paid to the inspirational engineer Alex Moulton, Astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore passes away, Tributes are paid to former Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton, People pay last respects to hero of the Blitz, Jazz great Dave Brubeck passes away, Former Liverpool manager and player passes away, Death rate continues to fall in Northern Ireland, Tributes are paid to the man who put colour into digital photography or Organ transplant pioneer Joseph Murray passes away


If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.