Tyrus Yu Wong

Tyrus Yu Wong

Birth
Taishan, Guangdong, China
Death 30 Dec 2016 (aged 106)
Sunland, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Court of Liberty section, Gardens of Heritage division, Map #H11, Lot 1269, Comp. Gdn. Crypt 3A
Memorial ID 175014579 · View Source
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Tyrus Wong, the artist whose drawings were the visual inspiration for the Disney classic “Bambi,” died Friday, December 30, 2016, at the age of 106, according to multiple news sources.

Wong’s death was announced Friday on his Facebook page.

“With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Tyrus Wong,” the post read.

“Tyrus died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving daughters Kim, Kay and Tai-Ling. He was 106 years old.”

Wong was born in 1910 in China.

In 1920, at the age of nine, Wong and his father came to the United States. He never again came in contact with his mother or his sister. He and his father settled in Los Angeles.

While he was in junior high school, teachers noticed that Wong had a gift for art.

He was awarded a scholarship to the Otis Art Institute.

After he graduated, he started work in Hollywood.

Wong was working as a sketch artist at Disney when he heard about Walt Disney’s “Bambi” project and he did some paintings of deer in the forest.

The Walt Disney Family Museum said, "Walt Disney saw that Tyrus was able to produce exquisite artwork that did not necessarily look like the forest - but rather, felt like the forest. Walt's vision for Bambi and use of Tyrus' work still influences films today."

The extent of his contribution to the striking visuals of “Bambi” would not be known for decades.

The museum stated that "his influence on the artistic composition of the animated feature Bambi cannot be overstated."

The artist left Disney shortly after finishing “Bambi” and went to work for years for Warner Brothers as a concept artist.

He worked on such movies as

“Rebel Without a Cause”

and “The Wild Bunch.”

He also worked as a greeting card designer for Hallmark.

Wong overcame discrimination and lack of recognition and found his greatest fame when he reached his 90s.

He is considered to be one of the most influential Chinese-American artists in history.

The first solo exhibition of his work happened in 2004 when he was 93, at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.

He was also known for his elaborate bamboo kite designs.

He would also fly his kite creations and could be seen frequently flying them on the beach near the Santa Monica pier.

He was named a Disney Legend in 2001.

A documentary about his life called “Tyrus” was just released in 2015.


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  • Created by: FJHanzel
  • Added: 7 Jan 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 175014579
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Tyrus Yu Wong (25 Oct 1910–30 Dec 2016), Find A Grave Memorial no. 175014579, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by FJHanzel (contributor 48181623) .