Walter Lantz

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Full Name:

Walter Lantz

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Date of birth:


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New Rochelle, New York, USA


Walter Lantz was born into a family of Italian immigrants in Westchester County, 16 miles from New York City. Watching Gertie the Dinosaur immediately ignited his passion for animation. While working as an auto mechanic by day, he met a shop customer who helped young Lantz start his career as an artist by paying for his Art Studies League classes.  1924 saw the premiere of his first animated short film, Dinky Doodle. Four years later, film producer Charles B. Mintz hired him to direct some Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (a character stolen from Walt Disney) shorts for Universal. Lantz won all applicable rights to the Oswald character in a card game bet with Carl Lammele.

Honors and awards

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1973; Awarded Lifetime Achievement Academy Award, 1979


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