Bud Luckey, Animator Who Designed 'Toy Story's Woody, Has Died

Bud Luckey — the animator credited as the creator behind the design of Woody from Toy Story — has died. Luckey passed away after battling an extended illness, his son released in a statement to THR. He was 83.

Born on July 28, 1934, Luckey drafted over 200 designs until settling on the final look for Tom Hanks' iconic character.

The Billings, Montana native attended both The Chouniard Art Institute and the University of Southern California before getting his job with Pixar.

"I'm from Montana, and I thought to have a sympathetic character, the most pathetic thing I could think of was a newly shaven sheep standing in the rain," Luckey said in a 2005 DVD featurette while talking about Woody.

In addition to his work on Toy Story, Luckey also has credits on A Bug's Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001), and Cars (2006).

In addition to his work for Pixar — which included directing the Oscar-nominated animated short Boundin' — Luckey collaborated with lyricist Donald Hadley on several counting cartoons for Sesame Street, many of which are still remembered today.

Luckey also offered his voice to a handful of projects throughout his career including Rick Dicker — the leader of the Superhero Relocation Program in The Incredibles (2004). He was also the voice of Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3 (2010) and of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh (2011).


Luckey served as an animator until his retirement in 2008. He continued voice acting until 2014.

Luckey's son Andy was a producer on the fan-favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series of the 1990s and has been credited as the inspiration behind Andy, the boy protagonist in the Toy Story franchise.