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Berny Wolf

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WOLF, Berny Veteran and legendary animator, producer, and image consultant and product designer passed on Thursday, September 7, 2006 to be with his beloved wife, of 54 years, Muriel, whom he desperately missed since her passing in September, 1997. Berny was born in New York, on July 18, 1911 to Mae and Julius Wolf. A brother to two sisters and an older brother, Berny leaves behind two daughters, Lauren (husband Neal) and Kathy (husband John); granddaughter Julie Purcell (life partner Kim) and great-grandson Parker; grandson Robert Purcell (wife Jennifer) and great-grandsons Cole and Aidan. He also leaves nephews Bruce Wolfe, Richard Steinmetz and Robert Steinmetz, and cousins Kenneth, Erlin, and Greg France. Berny never stopped drawing and creating. His last creations were three drawings for his wonderful great-grandsons, whom he adored. He was also in the midst of creating original cartoon panels hoping to syndicate these in various newspapers. Berny Wolf's career helped to launch and stimulate the growth of many future animators. His career spanned several decades starting with employment at Fleischer Studios in New York where he worked on Betty Boop, followed by a move to Ub Iwerks Studio, then on Disney Studios where he created and contributed to short cartoons as well as the timeless classics such as Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo. Notably, Berny was the creative force along with Ward Kimball in the creation of Jiminy Cricket. Another contribution to the Disney vision was Berny's design and creation of the over-sized costumed walk-around characters which can still be enjoyed today. While working at MGM he animated in Tex Avery's unit on a cartoon starring Red Hot Riding Hood, the Wolf, and Droopy-the Slo-Mo Dog. During World War II, Berny was assigned to the Sound & Motion Picture Unit, stationed in Culver City where they animated features such as dealing with top secret information and appropriate conduct for Army personnel. At Film Roman Studios, Berny worked on Garfield specials and Garfield commercials and Bobby's World, both as a director and animator. Berny Wolf also had his own production company, Animedia Inc., where he directed, produced and wrote sales and communication training films for several large corporations such as Toyota, Nissan, IBM, and animated numerous Sesame Street segments. Berny also is known for additional hand puppets and full scale characters for "Howdy Doody" series; Ivan Tors; A&W Root Beer; US Forest Service, Woodsy the Owl!" Following these creative ventures, Berny was employed by Hanna-Barbera Studios working on live action television shows and various cartoon series such as the Jetson's, Johnny Quest, Snorks, and the Flintstones. In the 1990's, Berny worked with MGM again and created bigger than life-size mascots along with new MGM Grand logo characters, such as King Looey and his entourage, a unique animation show, and designed the $1.00 silver slot coins for the opening of the MGM Grand Hotel and Theme Park in Las Vegas. Berny has won numerous awards in his long career in topics ranging from animation to product development and short film achievements. His enormous talent and unbelievable creativity cannot be replaced and will be missed. In addition to Berny's fruitful animation career he enjoyed spending time with his wife and business partner, Muriel, either traveling to an exotic locale for business, or just to relax on a sandy beach in a tropical paradise. Their love for each other was evident in the home they created for their daughters and extended family. Berny's family would like to thank the never-ending support, and tender care from VITAS Hospice, during the last month of his life.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 24, 2006
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