Ruthie Tompson dead: Disney animation legend who worked on Snow White dies aged 111
Disney animation legend Ruthie Tompson has died at the age of 111.
The animator worked on some of Disney's biggest hits and 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."
Ruthie passed away on Sunday at the Motion Picture and Television Fund in Woodland Hills.
She worked on some of the company's biggest hits, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Rescuers and said in an interview that her first involvement with the company came as a kid playing in her street near the studios in the 1920s.
She said in her Disney Legends interview: "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."
She went on to become a painter at the studio and worked on the first full-length Disney animation in 1937 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Other classics that Ruthie worked on included Pinocchio, Dumbo, Sleeping Beauty and Robin Hood.
She retired from the company in 1975 after working on The Rescuers. Up until that moment, she is thought to have worked on almost every Disney animation.
After retiring, she still helped out on several other projects, including Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 version of The Lord of the Rings.
Her death led to many messages of condolence being left on social media, including on by the official Walt Disney account on Twitter.
It wrote: "We are sorry to report that Disney Legend Ruthie Tompson has passed away."
Disney Parks also tweeted: "It's with a heavy heart we report that Disney Legend Ruthie Tompson has passed away. Ruthie will be missed dearly."
And, showing how much she meant to the company, 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."
According to Disney's statement, Ruthie is survived by her two nieces, Judy Weiss and Calista Tonelli, as well as her nephew Pierce Butler III.