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Leo D. Sullivan death: Trailblazing animation artist was 82



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Leo D. Sullivan, the trailblazing animation artist who labored on the traditional opening sequence for “Soul Train” in addition to dozens of cartoons, has died. He was 82.

Sullivan died Saturday of coronary heart failure at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Middle, his spouse Ethelyn Sullivan confirmed Wednesday to the Los Angeles Instances. All through his profession, the Emmy-winning animator contributed to varied TV sequence, together with “The Incredible Hulk,” “Flash Gordon,” “BraveStarr,” “Transformers” and “Scooby-Doo.”

Within the Seventies, he designed the long-lasting cartoon steam locomotive that welcomed viewers each week to “Soul Prepare.” He additionally helped develop and animate the 1969 TV particular, “Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert” for NBC, in keeping with his official biography on

Along with breaking limitations as an animator, Sullivan made his mark as a producer, director, format artist, storyboard artist and author whereas working for prime animation studios reminiscent of Warner Bros., Filmation, New World, Richard Williams and Hanna-Barbera.

Whereas managing animation studios based mostly in america, China and the Philippines, he oversaw improvement for animated sequence and flicks distributed in america, Thailand, Spain, France, Canada, Australia, Germany and Eire.

Past Hollywood, Sullivan collaborated with the California Science Middle, taught classical 2-D animation and digital animation on the Artwork Institute of California — Orange County and lectured at UCLA.

In 1979 and once more in 1991, Sullivan acquired accolades from the Black Filmmakers Corridor of Fame in Oakland. His work has additionally been exhibited on the San Francisco Cartoon Museum and the Los Angeles African American Museum.

Amongst Sullivan’s closest collaborators was Floyd Norman, the primary Black animator to work at Disney. Collectively, Sullivan and Norman based Vignette Movies, which produced animated shorts educating high-school college students on Black historic figures, from George Washington Carver to Booker T. Washington.

The inventive duo later joined forces to launch AfroKids, a multimedia group offering on-line sources and streaming content material for Black dad and mom and their children. Sullivan was featured prominently within the 2016 documentary, “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life.”

He’s survived by his spouse and two kids, Tina Sullivan Coleman and Leo Sullivan Jr.

“Empowering individuals — particularly Black individuals, Black households, Black kids — with a view to construct their shallowness and worth system … that’s what I’m right here about,” Sullivan said in 2017.

“What concerning the subsequent era of people that take over once we’re gone?”