Animator Richard Williams, who is known for his work on films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Return of the Pink Panther, The Thief and the Cobbler, and Casino Royale has died at the age of 86. Williams passed away on Friday at his home in Bristol according to his family (via DailyMail.co.uk). The cause isn't known at this time, but our thoughts are with his wife Imogen Sutton and his entire family at this difficult time.
Williams is a three-time Oscar winner and three-time Bafta award winner, and won two Oscars and one Bafta award for his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? alone as the animation director on the hit film. The film, which starred Bob Hoskins, was something completely different and has become a fan favorite ever since it released in theaters back in 1988, and Williams helped create Roger Rabbit as well as Jessica Rabbit as part of his work on the film.
Williams also had his hands in another stellar franchise, that being the Pink Panther films that starred Peter Sellers in the beloved role of Inspector Clouseau. Williams was a lead animator on both The Return of the Pink Panther and The Pink Panther Strikes Again, and helped animate the title sequences.
Williams worked on a number of other projects over the years, though his first project in animation was The Little Island, a short he made in 1958 that would earn him a Bafta. After that, he would develop several more shorts, including The Wardrobe and Love Me, Love Me, Love Me, and then later would work on projects like The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Thief and the Cobbler. He also won his first Oscar for an adaptation of A Christmas Carol in 1971.
In 2008 he animated his book The Animator's Survival Kit, making into a video documentary, and his most recent project was Prologue, a short that focused on a battle between Spartan and Athenian warriors 2,400 years in the past.