The Tragic Death Of Famed Disney Animator Ruthie Tompson

Ruthie Tompson has died, aged 111. Tompson was a much beloved member of the Disney family and a familiar name to many avid fans of the company, as she worked on Disney's very first animated feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," which hit cinemas all the way back in 1937. The Walt Disney Company issued a heartfelt tribute to Tompson, which confirmed the Supercentenarian died "peacefully in her sleep" on October 11 while at home at the Motion Picture and Television Fund in California.

The talented artist has quite the sweet story of how she ended up being one of Disney's earliest employees, working with the company for around four decades. She was 14 years old when she and her family moved to Los Angeles, where she lived close to the studios and on the same block as Walt Disney's uncle, Robert Disney.

Tompson initially started out her lengthy and seriously impressive career as a painter in the Ink and Paint Department before taking on the role of final checker of animation cels. She later moved on in the company again, working in the animation checking and scene planning field. Tompson truly brought the Disney magic alive, as her name can be found in the credits of some of Disney's most beloved early classics, including "Dumbo," "The Rescuers," "Pinocchio," "Mary Poppins," "Fantasia," "Robin Hood," "Sleeping Beauty," and "The Aristocrats."

Disney's Ruthie Tompson tribute

Disney's co-executive chairman, Bob Iger, paid tribute to the late Ruthie Tompson in a statement shared via The Walt Disney Company on October 11. "Ruthie was a legend among animators, and her creative contributions to Disney — from 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' to 'The Rescuers' — remain beloved classics to this day. While we will miss her smile and wonderful sense of humour, her exceptional work and pioneering spirit will forever be an inspiration to us all."

Disney's official Instagram account also remembered the late artist, sharing a snap of her smiling alongside the caption, "We are sorry to report the passing of Disney Legend Ruthie Tompson."

Plenty of fans shared their own tributes in the comments section. "111 years old — absolutely incredible," one person wrote, while another commented, "truly sorry to hear this, but in awe, that she lived such a long, happy, productive life. may her loved ones will always remember her as the awesome woman she was. only beautiful souls can create this kind of timeless art."

Tompson retired from her role at Disney in 1975, but continued to work on other media projects for another decade after that. Per IMDb, she worked on the animated "The Lord of the Rings" movie in 1987 as well as the cartoon collection of animated stories, "Metamorphoses," that same year.