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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA
Died in Los Angeles County, California, USA
Birth NameEdward Sears

Mini Bio (1)

As his writing partner, Winston Hibler, once put it, "Perhaps Ted's greatest talent was his own unique brand of humor. It was warm, gentle humor; there was never a barb in it. And his was the key, to Ted's whole personality. He was the kindest man I ever knew. He lived with laughter and without malice. He was generous in all things. His talents could be had for the asking. No job was too small, none too big. And this all adds up to the fact that through his talents and his personal virtues. Ted was able to achieve two of the goals he set for himself in life: he made good pictures and he made good friends." Ted Sears was a man of multiple talents. Born in 1900, he spent most of his childhood in New York. As a teenager he attended a trade school in Manhattan where he learned a variety of lettering techniques - since he planned on becoming a sign painter. Even though art and drawing were his first loves, his most lasting interests, early on he convinced himself he would never be an exceptional artist, and he also knew he had to help support his parents and four sisters. However, trying out various jobs was not a problem; he was good at almost everything, and so he lettered title cards for silent movies, worked with trick photography, drew ads

  • and even made props for early two-reel comedies, joining silent comic
Charlie Bowers's company, putting together many of the objects Charlie and the other actors used. While on the set, he came up with plot ideas and gags for Charlie's unscripted movies, since he had an innate sense of story that developed quickly. He was young, so were the movies - and he soon turned to an even younger field: the world of film cartoons. Ted had never stopped drawing, discovering that cartoons with their loose, zany characters came naturally to him. This led to work as an animator in various studios - eventually he joined the Max Fleischer organization where he contributed story ideas as well as animation to Betty Boop and many other characters. (In fact, "character" was his favorite word.)

In 1931, Walt Disney hired Ted on a long term contract not as an animator but as a senior writer, (the Disney company's first) and in the twenty-seven years that followed no one ever challenged his position. He had found a niche that suited him, surrounded by the most talented and colorful personalities in animation, writing dialogue and story lines for virtually every important production the Disney Studio made: "Snow White," "Pinocchio," "Bambi," "Dumbo," "Fantasia," "Saludos Amigos," "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland," "Peter Pan" (for which he wrote song lyrics), "Lady and the Tramp," and "Sleeping beauty." As part of the Disney's company's original story department he is one of the men attributed in the creation of storyboarding now an industry standard for not just animated film but also live action. He also co-wrote narration for many of the Disney nature films with Winston Hibler, and later did a number of the Disney TV shows. He had writing credits on perhaps a dozen Oscar and Emmy winning productions.

To amuse himself, Ted still drew for his friends and made props for the plays his daughter appeared in - he also produced his family's Christmas cards which employed his old love for trick photography an special effects - these holiday cards took months to prepare and were awaited with great anticipation by over three hundred recipients. (he lettered the envelopes individually, turning each name into calligraphy.)

When Ted died in the summer of 1958, he left his mark on the Disney films, their quality in part springing from his belief in what he did, his many gifts, and the satisfaction that came from working with the finest talents in the animation business.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kathryn Irene

Trivia (3)

Walt & Lily Disney along with many members of the Disney company attended his wedding.
His sister-in-law, Irene, was the Disney family nurse for many years attending to both Walt's brother and mother.
First head of the Disney Story Department.

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