Bud Luckey, animator behind Toy Story's Woody, dies at 83

Ben Arnold
Contributor
(Credit: Disney/Pixar)

Bud Luckey, the Oscar-nominated animator who created Woody for the Toy Story movies, has died at the age of 83.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he died at a hospice in Newtown, Connecticut, following a prolonged illness.

Luckey was not only a talented animator, but occasionally voiced characters on screen too.

Among his credits were Rick Dicker, the head of the Superhero Relocation Program in The Incredibles, and, memorably Chuckles, the sad clown from Toy Story 3.

He also voiced Eeyore in the 2011 version of Winnie The Pooh.

Pixar animation chief John Lasseter once said of him: “Bud Luckey is one of the true unsung heroes of animation.

Pixar animator Bud Luckey (Credit: Facebook/Andy Luckey)

“Bud helped design most of the films we’ve made from Toy Story onward. He was the fifth animator hired here at Pixar.”

Luckey also worked as a character designer on Pixar movies like A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc and Cars, but it’s for Woody that he will likely be best remembered.

It was Luckey who had the idea to make Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, a cowboy rather than a ‘sarcastic ventriloquist dummy’, which was the original idea, and provided 200 designs for the character.

In a post on Facebook, his son Andy Luckey, said to be the inspiration for the character of Andy in the Toy Story films, said: “His kind and easy going demeanor led his PIXAR colleagues to dub him ‘Bud Low-Key’.

“He’ll be deeply missed by his friends, family and colleagues to whom he was just ‘Bud’. He loved his work but got even greater satisfaction from seeing others enjoy it.”

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