Monday, 2 January 2012

Lloyd Vaughan obituary and info...

Today I would like to post something a bit different, instead of a review - an obituary. 103 years ago, Lloyd Vaughan was born, and he died on May 19, 1988, aged 79, and he will be the topic of this post......

"Why a post about Lloyd Vaughan?"
"Aren't you supposed to be doing this Buddy review?".
"What really is so important about Lloyd to you..."
Well, since Lloyd Vaughan was born on January 2...
"Well why didn't you do the others on the other dates?! You left out Chuck Jones in September!"

ALRIGHT! Listen up, not only is it his birthdate back in 1909, but I actually want to show out an obituary that I have from him that Joe Campana has sent me through e-mail:

Click on the obituary.
I suggest you read the obituary first before the following text I will write:

This here is the Lloyd Vaughan obituary that I have which was sent from Joe Campana through his research and files. It's a really interesting read his obituary. It seems that from his wife's view that he loved to draw Bugs Bunny a lot, (even though he had an interesting animation style for Bugs - and other characters).

His original dream was that he wanted to work for Walt Disney (which was probably's everyone's dream back then) but unfortunately he never went to Art College or studied Art but brought his portfolio, and the guys felt his style wasn't the Disney style - and the fact they thought he was too old - being 26. That was a bit bizarre for me to hear that - since Disney did in fact hire quite a bunch of old guys who were even older like Eric Larson, Grim Natwick, Jack Campbell, Bill Roberts, Dick Huemer, etc. No there's no question.

Who knew before that Lloyd Vaughan was apparently blind with one eye - even  before he started his animation career - and was tenacious. Interesting how he used to work at a tobacco shop.

Click on the picture of Lloyd.
Taken in the late 40's in the Jones unit.
First, a bit of history (Information mostly by Joe Campana). Lloyd Lincoln Vaughan was born on January 2, 1909 (as we know) in Portland, Oregon. He was raised by his parents: Thomas Henderson Vaughan (9/8/1873-4/10/1942), and mother Flora Anita Reimann (11/3/1884-7/17/1968). He mostly lived in Oregon up to his early years as an adult. He had a twin brother named Boyd Bertram Vaughan who died on 3/7/1984, and an older sibling named Evelyn M. Vaughan - and it is unknown of his death.

Lloyd Vaughan was married or in a civil partnership with a lady named Livinne L. Whitman back in 1927 when Lloyd was only 18!! Livinne was two years older than Lloyd. The couple is believed to have split up around 1930 after only three years. Lloyd later remarried in 1936 with his new wife Glaya M. Dewey (Vaughan) (born 12/24/1913-1/22/2007) and they were married until Lloyd's death, around the time they were married - Lloyd would've been living in California by then. Lloyd had one son who was born on 7/4/1937 named Lloyd Lincoln II. He spent his early years working in a tobacco shop, shipping clerk or ticket agents at bus lines.

After Lloyd's failure to enter the Disney Studios, he then tried Schlesinger where he got a job there in 1935 working as an inbetweener for $6 a week, and a month later his salary was doubled. He then stayed as an inbetweener/assistant for almost a decade (mostly in Chuck Jones' unit). He was finally promoted to a  fully-fledged animator around late 1944 or 1945. He was animating in the Chuck Jones unit. I haven't been able to call many Lloyd Vaughan scenes in the shorts but I know a few of his trademarks: he had a style of drawing one eye taller than the other, he drew Bugs's two front teeth with one tooth taller than the other. From what others have told me - his animation was rather off-model and a bit ugly, when actually I noticed that his characters look a bit crude but it always worked well in the scenes.

Some notable scenes that Lloyd Vaughan worked on the shorts that I know include:

Bugs' ride through space in Haredevil Hare.
Sylvester sleeping outside house (bed outside window): Scaredy Cat.
The crazy chase sequence/Bugs and Eskimo trapped on huge icicle in Frigid Hare.
The card playing game sequence: Mississippi Hare (also Ken Harris).
Pa flying up very high in the sky that he descends the following day: Bear Feat.
The whole "Rabbit/Duck" season argument when Daffy is shot several times in Rabbit Fire.
Daffy entering the saloon removes his chaps "Seems awfully breezy in here"/Entrance to Nasty Canasta: Drip-Along Daffy.
Daffy as the flower-bizarre monster in Duck Amuck..

and there's many more.

I've heard some other stories about Lloyd when he worked as an animator (Greg Duffell told me this but Thad Komorowski has brought this up before) that around the early 50s Chuck Jones was going to have to fire Lloyd because his work was not at all up to scratch. Ken Harris suggested, in order to keep his job; that Lloyd would share the same room as Ken Harris for a while and see if he has any progressed. Lloyd ended up staying in the same room with Ken for about a year. Another interesting fact that which I didn't know before was that Lloyd was an "Arrow" shirt model that was featured in magazines at that time.

Chuck Jones' unit must've been very busy in 1952/1953 since he had a huge unit with not only Ben Washam, Ken Harris and Lloyd Vaughan - but also Abe Levitow and Richard Thompson became fully fledged animators. Chuck was sort of busy experimenting with casting the animators since Ken Harris single-handily animated the entire short "No Barking", Ben Washam did "Rabbit Rampage", Abe Levitow and Richard Thompson both worked on "Stop! Look and Hasten!", "Sheep Ahoy", and "Feline Frame-Up".  Lloyd Vaughan got to animate most of the cartoon "The Cat's Bah" along with Ben Washam, as they both were co-animators.

Lloyd stayed with Warner Bros. Animation Studio until it's closure in 1953, and after it reopened about four months later - Lloyd didn't return and worked at Storyboard, Inc. for a few years. Lloyd seemed to take a  break from animating but returned in the 1960's where he worked as an effects animator on the live-action film Jack the Giant Killer. He reunited with Chuck Jones in 1966 where he worked as an animator on projects such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Phantom Toolbooth, etc. He also worked at Hanna-Barbera in 1969 working on the first series of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? until it was cancelled. He's been around at different studios throughout the 1970's and appeared to be busy, he worked for Ralph Bakshi's film Heavy Traffic and on a couple of Chuck Jones projects in the 1970s such as Carnival of the Animals or the Rudyard Kipling adaptation Rikki-Tikki-Tavi which was originally a short story featured in Kipling's book The Jungle Book.

Lloyd spent much of the 1980's working on many Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes specials with various directors and Raggedy Ann movies in the 1970's. Lloyd was very busy animating and appeared to still be enjoying work. One of his last pieces of animation was working on a few Garfield animated projects in the late 1980s. Lloyd Vaughan appears as himself briefly in the 1991 documentary Chuck Amuck: The Movie where he talks about one of his Road Runner scenes.

Click on the gravestone picture.
Lloyd Vaughan died on May 19, 1988 in Burbank, California, aged 79, of liver cancer. His body was buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills - according to the obituary. He was survived by a wife, his son and two grandchildren.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article I wrote about Lloyd - if it wasn't for Joe Campana or Greg Duffell, or anybody who brought this information and made this article - I'd like to extend my thinks to them. I have a few more articles on some guys (info by Campana) on fellas like Phil Monroe, Rod Scribner, AC Gamer, Tom Palmer and Irv Spence and if anyone would want to choose a particular person who want me to write - please inform me.


  1. Nice post on a guy who deserves some attention. Thanks.

  2. That singular picture of Lloyd was from a unit photograph taken in the late 1940s.

    Good post, Steven. Lloyd is very underrated.

  3. Thanks Zartok, I'll do a quick edit for that. Didn't have time to do TOO much research...

  4. You could post biographies on every Golden Age animator, Steven, and it still wouldn't be enough.

    I thought I made some notes on Vaughan for a post because the family info looks familiar (especially the two different marriages), but evidently not. But the obit's wonderful. There's stuff I've never read anywhere. Bravo to Joe.

    It appears Vaughan didn't get married in Oregon. I'm guessing his wife was from another state and they got married there.

  5. Well Yowp, I still don't have enough Golden Age animators to write about ;-) - and of course for most of this info, I don't have control of as Joe does.

    The document I gave that has info on Lloyd (family info, home addresses, picture, gravestone, etc. etc.) didn't say where Lloyd was married, and having to have still lived in Oregon - I had to "assume" he was married there - even though I should never assume.

  6. I never get tired of reading biographies of unsung talents from the animation field. Many thanks to Joe for the research and you for publishing it! Would love to see a comprehensive biography of Scribner and Spence someday.

  7. Scribner and Spence? We'll see in the near future - and I'll find the appropriate time...

  8. A shame about Spence. He had Alzheimer's at the end. And Scribner had enough troubles in life.

    One guy who just seems to have vanished was Burt Gillett. Evidently he was doing something in California after he left Lantz. He's listed in the L.A. Directory in 1938 but the following year, only his wife is listed.