Richard Williams Biography

Richard Williams (Richard Edmund Williams) was a Canadian–British animator, voice actor, and writer, who was best known for serving as animation director on Disney/Amblin’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and for his unfinished feature film The Thief and the Cobbler (1993).

Williams was also a film title sequence designer and animator; his most famous works in this field included the title sequences to What’s New Pussycat? (1965) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966). He also animated the eponymous cartoon feline for two of the later Pink Panther films.

Williams was one of a number of successful people in the entertainment industry to have come from Northern Secondary School in Toronto.

Richard Williams Career

In 1958, Williams produced the work that boosted his career and won the 1958 BAFTA Award for Animated Film, The Little Island.

In the 1983 Thames Television documentary The Thief Who Never Gave Up, Richard credits animator Bob Godfrey with giving him his start in the business, “Bob Godfrey helped me…I worked in the basement and would do work in kind, and he would let me use the camera…[it was] a barter system”.

Richard Williams Photo

After his early work in the mid-1960s Williams directed the Academy Award-winning A Christmas Carol (1971), the full-length feature Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977) and the Emmy-winning television film Ziggy’s Gift (1982). Williams was director of animation on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), winning two more Oscars for his work.

Richard has written an acclaimed animation how-to book, The Animator’s Survival Kit, published in 2002 (expanded edition, 2009). Following this, Richard completed a 9-minute short film titled Circus Drawings. The silent film, with live accompaniment, premiered at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy in September 2010.

Richard Williams Age

Williams was born on March 19, 1933 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At the time of his death on August 16, 2019, Richard was 86 years old.

Richard Williams Family

Williams was the son of Kathleen (Bell) and Kenneth D. C. Williams. He emigrated to Ibiza in 1953 and then to London in 1955.

Richard Williams Wife | Richard Williams Children

Williams has been married four times. A the time of his death, he was married to Imogen Sutton a Canadian–British producer and director. He had four children from two of his three previous marriages, including animator Alexander Williams and painter Holly Williams-Brock.

Richard Williams Death | Richard Williams Cause Of Death

Williams died on August 16, 2019 at his home in Bristol, United Kingdom; his family announced. He was 86 years old. Williams had cancer, but he “was still animating and writing till the day he died,” according to his daughter Natasha Sutton Williams.

Richard Williams Movies

Animated shorts and Features

  • The Little Island (1958) (director, writer, producer, animator)
  • Love Me, Love Me, Love Me (1962) (director, producer, animator)
  • A Lecture on Man (1962) (director, writer, producer, animator)
  • The Apple (1963) (designer, storyboard artist)
  • Diary of a Madman (1963) (unfinished; Kenneth Williams’ narration was broadcast by BBC Radio 4, 1991)
  • The Dermis Probe (1965) (director, writer, editing)
  • The Sailor and the Devil (1965) (producer)
  • The Ever-Changing Motor Car (1965) (writer)
  • A Christmas Carol (TV movie) (1971) (director, producer) (Oscar win)
  • Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977) (director, production supervisor, animator)
  • Ziggy’s Gift (TV movie) (1982) (director, producer, voice of Crooked Santa)
  • Bugs Bunny’s Wild World of Sports (TV Special) (1988) (assistant animator)
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) (animation director, voice of Droopy)
  • Tummy Trouble (1989) (voice of Droopy)
  • The Thief and the Cobbler (1993) (director, screenplay, producer, lead animator, voice of Laughing Brigand)
  • Circus Drawings (2010) (director, animator)
  • Prologue (2015) (director, animator) (Oscar nomination)

Titles in Live-action films

  • What’s New Pussycat? (1965) (titles)
  • The Liquidator (1965) (titles)
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) (title designer)
  • The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966) (title designer)
  • Casino Royale (1967) (titles, montage effects)
  • Sebastian (1968) (titles)
  • Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1968) (title designer)
  • 30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia (1968) (graphic titles effects)
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) (title animation)
  • Prudence and the Pill (1968) (titles)
  • Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969) (animation director: title sequence)
  • Every Home Should Have One (1970) (titles and animated sequences)
  • The Return of the Pink Panther (1975) (title animation)
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) (title animation)


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