Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' animator, dies at 86

Anika Reed

Richard Williams, the award-winning animator of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and two "Pink Panther" films, has died at 86.

His family told the Associated Press Williams died from cancer at his home in Bristol, England, on Friday.

Williams is probably best known for his work as the animator of the 1988 film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," winning two Academy Awards – best visual effects and a special achievement Academy Award – for his animations and the early use of CGI to create the characters. The movie was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2016 as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

USA TODAY has reached out to Disney for comment.

Williams’ career straddled the “Golden Age of Animation,” which petered out between the 1950s and 1960s, and the rise of computer-assisted animation in the 1990s and beyond.

The famed animator also won the 1958 BAFTA Award for Animated Film for his first animated film, "The Little Island." He went on to animate, direct and produce the 1962 films "Love Me, Love Me, Love Me" and "A Lecture on Man," the 1972 award-winning "A Christmas Carol" and 1993's hand-animated "The Thief and the Cobbler."

Williams also created the title sequences for 1965’s "What’s New Pussycat?," 1967’s "Casino Royale," 1975’s "The Return of the Pink Panther" and 1976’s "The Pink Panther Strikes Again."

His final work was 2015's "Prologue," an animated short film based on the play "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes, which was nominated in the animated short film category at the Oscars.

Sutton Williams said her father’s best-selling book, ”The Animator’s Survival Kit ,” was a distillation of decades’ worth of experience and is still “essentially the bible that every single animator has around the world.”

Her father “was still animating and writing till the day he died,” she said.

Williams is survived by his wife and longtime collaborator, Imogen Sutton, their two children, and four children from two previous marriages.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' animator, dies