Clyde (Gerry) Geronimi, who began with the Walt Disney Studios in 1931 animating Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Silly Symphony cartoons and whose 28-career extended into Academy Award-winning directorships of some of Disney's best-known feature films, died Monday.
He was 87 and died in his Newport Beach home, where he lived after he retired.
Geronimi was an experienced animator before joining Disney, having traced drawings of comic characters and transferred them to film for the old Hearst studios, whose early cartoon characters included "The Katzenjammer Kids." (A co-worker at Hearst in 1918 was Walter Lantz, who subsequently created Woody Woodpecker and other cartoon classics. Lantz handed Geronimi his Annie Award when the Italian-born Geronimi was honored by the Hollywood chapter of the International Animation Society in 1977.)
Geronimi joined Disney in 1931 and helped animate more than 50 of the studio's early cartoons. He became a director in 1938, and won his first Oscar in 1939 for "The Ugly Duckling," a short. His second Academy Award came in 1942 for "Lend a Paw," another short.
As a sequence, or segment, director, Geronimi's credits for Disney included "Three Caballeros," "The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad," "Cinderella," "Peter Pan," "Sleeping Beauty," for which he was supervising director, and "101 Dalmations."
He also directed several specials for Disney on television.
He is survived by two sons, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.