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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 26 September 1871Spring Lake, Michigan, USA
Date of Death 26 July 1934Brooklyn, New York, USA  (cerebral hemorrhage)
Birth NameZenas Winsor McKay

Mini Bio (1)

Like many pioneers, the work of 'Winsor McCay' has been largely superseded by successors such as Walt Disney and Max Fleischer but he more than earns a place in film history for being the American cinema's first great cartoon animator. He started out as a newspaper cartoonist, achieving a national reputation for his strips 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' and 'Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend'. Inspired by his son's flick-books, he spent four years and produced four thousand individual drawings in making his first animated cartoon 'Little Nemo', completing it in 1911. But his biggest cartoon success was 'Gertie the Dinosaur' (1913), which was the centrepiece of a vaudeville act in which the live McCay would interact with his cartoon character. For this, he single-handedly produced ten thousand individual drawings, laboriously re-drawing the background every time. It is often wrongly cited as the first animated cartoon, but it was certainly the first successful one, and influenced dozens of imitators. His 1918 production 'The Sinking of the Lusitania' was even more ambitious: comprising 25,000 drawings, it was the first feature-length American cartoon, and the second one made anywhere. He retired from film-making in the 1920s, but would subsequently describe himself as "the creator of animated cartoons". This honour, strictly speaking, belongs to the Frenchman Emile Cohl - but McCay was certainly the first to bring them to a wide audience.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Spouse (1)

Maude Buford (? - 26 July 1934) (his death)

Personal Quotes (1)

Animation should be an art, that is how I conceived it. But as I see what you fellows have done with it is make it into a trade - not an art, but a trade. Bad luck.

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