You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tyrus Wong, Pioneer ‘Bambi’ Artist, Dies at 106

Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106.

Wong’s death was announced 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 China before immigrating to the Bay Area at age 9. From there he went to art school on a scholarship followed by accepting a low-level animation job in 1938. After hearing about Walt Disney’s “Bambi” project he put together some paintings of deer in a forest, which impressed Disney enough to use them as inspiration for the film. The animated classic isn’t all Wong is known for though, he’s also worked on film’s like “Rebel Without a Cause, “The Green Berets,” and “The Wild Bunch.”

In 2001, Wong was named a Disney Legend, and in 2013 he had his artwork featured in the Walt Disney Family Museum. In October of this year Wong received two honors at the Asian World Film Festival. He was awarded with a lifetime achievement award on the opening day with the following day (his 106th birthday) being the screening of the documentary about him titled “Tyrus” directed by Pam Tom.

Nelson Coates, the president of the Art Directors Guild commented, “On behalf of the Art Directors Guild, I am very saddened to share news of the loss of our highly talented friend, Tyrus Wong. His work and life inspired so many of us with his passion, originality, and creativity. Deepest condolences are extended to his family and many friends at this time.”

According to the statement, the Art Directors Guild will present a tribute to Mr. Wong at its awards ceremony on Feb 11.

Wong is survived by his daughters Kim, Kay and Tai-Ling.

More Film

  • A Promise Kept

    Film News Roundup: High School Football Drama 'Till the Whistle Blows' in the Works

    Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106. Wong’s death was announced 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 […]

  • Tiffany Haddish Limited Partners

    Tiffany Haddish's 'Limited Partners' Rounds Out Cast (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106. Wong’s death was announced 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 […]

  • Judi Dench

    Judi Dench Joins Star-Studded 'Cats' Movie

    Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106. Wong’s death was announced 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 […]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    15 Women Horror Directors Jason Blum Can Add to His List

    Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106. Wong’s death was announced 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 […]

  • Hailee Steinfeld attends the NYFW Spring/Summer

    Hailee Steinfeld to Star in Netflix Music Drama 'Idol'

    Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106. Wong’s death was announced 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 […]

  • FiGa Films Nets ‘Fireflies,’ Unveils Exclusive

    FiGa Films Nets ‘Fireflies’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106. Wong’s death was announced 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 […]

  • Analyzing the Disney and Fox Film

    Disney and Fox Film Merger Could Be Heavy on Drama (Analysis)

    Tyrus Wong, whose paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney’s animated classic “Bambi,” died Friday, Dec. 30. He was 106. Wong’s death was announced 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 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content