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|Born||Leslie James Clark
November 17, 1907
Ogden, Utah, U.S.
|Died||September 12, 1979
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Cancer|
|Known for||One of Disney's Nine Old Men|
(m. ?; div. 1952)
|Children||2 Richard Boone Clark|
Leslie James "Les" Clark (November 17, 1907 – September 12, 1979) was the first of Disney's Nine Old Men. Joining Disney in 1927, he was the only one to work on the origins of Mickey Mouse with Ub Iwerks.
The Disney Studio
Clark graduated from high school on a Thursday and reported to work the following Monday, February 23, 1927. By the time he retired in 1975, Les Clark was a senior animator and director, and the "longest continuously employed member of Walt Disney Productions."
For his first six months he operated the animation camera, then spent a subsequent six months as an inker-painter, tracing hundreds of animation drawings onto sheets of clear celluloid acetate ("cels") in ink with a crow-quill pen and painted them on the reverse side with opaque colors (black, white, and gray only, in the pre-Technicolor days). Ub Iwerks, who became Clark's mentor, was the studio's top animator.
Ub Iwerks animated Steamboat Willie at his usual breakneck speed (it was completed in two months), Clark assisted by in-betweening drawings, and Wilfred Jackson animated a brief scene of Minnie Mouse running along a riverbank.
To handle the increased production load, Walt began recruiting experienced New Yorks animators; Ben Sharpsteen, Burt Gillett, Jack King, and Norman Ferguson ("Fergy") who arrived at the studio between March and August 1929.
|December 21, 1937
February 1938 (United States)
|Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs||Animator||Dwarfs|
|February 7, 1940||Pinocchio||Pinocchio|
|November 13, 1940||Fantasia||Mickey Mouse, Sugar Plum Fairies|
|October 31, 1941||Dumbo||Dumbo, a little bit of Timothy|
|August 24, 1942
(World Premiere-Rio de Janeiro)|
February 6, 1943 (U.S. Premiere-Boston)
February 19, 1943 (U.S.)
|December 21, 1944
February 3, 1945 (U.S.)
|The Three Caballeros||Train to Baia sequence|
|April 20, 1946
(Premiere-New York City)|
August 15, 1946 (U.S.)
|Make Mine Music|
|November 12, 1946
November 20, 1946 (U.S.)
|Song of the South||Directing Animator||Minor Characters|
|September 27, 1947||Fun and Fancy Free||Bongo, Lulubelle|
|May 27, 1948||Melody Time||Bumble Boogie|
|January 19, 1949
January 30, 1949 (U.S.)
|So Dear to My Heart|
|October 5, 1949||The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad||Animator||Ichabod|
|February 15, 1950
March 4, 1949 (U.S.)
|Cinderella||Directing Animator||Cinderella, Prince|
|July 26, 1951
July 28, 1951 (U.S.)
|Alice in Wonderland||Alice|
|February 5, 1953||Peter Pan||Peter, Wendy Darling, Tiger Lily|
|November 10, 1953||Ben and Me|
|June 22, 1955||Lady and the Tramp||Lady as a puppy, Christmas scene at the end|
|August 1, 1958||Paul Bunyan||Director|
|January 29, 1959||Sleeping Beauty||Sequence Director|
|June 26, 1959||Donald in Mathmagic Land|
|January 25, 1961||One Hundred and One Dalmatians||Animator||Roger and Anita|
- Canemaker, John. (2001). Walt Disney's Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation. New York, NY: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-6496-6