Ruthie Tompson dies at 111 years old

By Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Disney animation legend and all time Hollywood trailblazer Ruthie Tompson is dead at the age of 111 years.

Ruthie is survived by her two nieces, Judy Weiss and Calista Tonelli, as well as her nephew Pierce Butler III.

Before her demise, she worked on Disney’s biggest hits like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Rescuers. She died on Sunday at the Motion Picture and Television Fund in Woodland Hills.

Her death was confirmed by Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Bob Iger.

He said in a statement: “While we will miss her smile and wonderful sense of humour, her exceptional work and pioneering spirit will forever be an inspiration to us all.”

While she was alive, sharing her experiences while working on Disney’s big hits, Ruthie said that her first involvement with the company came as a kid playing in her street near the studios in the 1920s.

“Once Roy asked us neighbourhood kids to play tag in the street, while he photographed us with a movie camera.

“I suppose it was for the Alice Comedies. He paid each of us a quarter, which I was glad for because I could buy liquorice.”, Ruthie said at the time.

Ruthie worked as a painter while handling her first full-length Disney animation in 1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

She also had Pinocchio, Dumbo, Sleeping Beauty and Robin Hood to her credit. She retired in 1975.

Her death announcement was followed by many tributes on different social media platforms, including one by the official Walt Disney account on Twitter.

It wrote: “We are sorry to report that Disney Legend Ruthie Tompson has passed away.”

“It’s with a heavy heart we report that Disney Legend Ruthie Tompson has passed away. Ruthie will be missed dearly.” Disney Parks tweeted

The Walt Disney Family Museum’s account also wrote: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Disney Legend Ruthie Tompson at the age of 111.

Ruthie dedicated 40 years to The Walt Disney Company, working on nearly every Disney animated feature through The Rescuers (1977). Ruthie will be dearly missed.” it concluded.