Bud Luckey — the Oscar-nominated animator best known for designing the Toy Story character Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks — has died, aged 83.
Born 1934, Luckey was also known for working on the Pixar films Monsters, Inc, A Bug's Life, and Cars, as well as voicing the characters Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3 and Rick Dicker in The Incredibles. He wrote, directed, narrated, voiced, sung and composed the five-minute Oscar-nominated 2004 short Boundin’ for them.
Before working with the Disney-owned animation studio, Luckley worked on the television show Sesame Street, animating the famous counting songs.
Luckey died on Saturday (24 February) following an extended battle with illness, according to his son, the producer and fellow animator Andy Luckey.
“He'll be deeply missed by his friends, family and colleagues to whom he was just ‘Bud,’” Andy wrote on Facebook. “His kind and easy going demeanour led his Pixar colleagues to dub him ‘Bud Low-Key.’”
Others to pay tribute include Toy Story 3 and Coco director Lee Unkrich, who wrote on Twitter: “So sad to hear that Bud Luckey passed away today. He voiced Chuckles in Toy Story 3, but that was the least of his many amazing accomplishments. A tweet is not sufficient to sing his praises.”
Pixar and Disney animation chief John Lasseter once called Luckey “one of the true unsung heroes of animation” noting how the animator suggested Woody from Toy Story should be a cowboy rather than ventriloquist's dummy (the original idea). Luckey retired from animation in 2008, but continued to do voices until 2014.