Bud Luckey (1934-2018)

Bud was a wonderful person. I first met him at a party at Imagination Inc., an animation company in N. Beach run by Jeff Hale and John Magnuson. He hung out with musicians at Earthquake McGoon’s Saloon who dropped by on Fridays for an impromptu jam with him before going to work. You might also find other local characters there having fun including members of the improvisational comedy troupe The Committee.

I guess it was in the early ‘80s that that company folded and Bud and Rudy Zamora formed the Luckey-Zamora Company located on Broadway a couple blocks from the bay. It was there that KQED shot segments of their TV special called The Animators. The show included some of Bud’s exceptional work and an intelligent conversation while Rudy looked on and never said a word. One of our members had a tape of that show so we showed it at ASIFA-SF event. I’ll show it at upcoming event. I also recall him working at Colossal Pictures before he joined Pixar.

Obits about his passing online tell us:

“Born on July 28, 1934, in Billings, Montana. He served in the U.S. Airforce during the Korean War. Afterwards, he attended Chouinard Art Institute ­ which would later merge with California Academy of Music to become California Institute of the Arts (a.k.a. Cal Arts). He went on to train at USC with Disney vet Art Babbitt.”

“He went on to work for The Alvin Show in 1961 and an animated pilot for a Mad magazine TV special. His other credits include the 1977 animated feature The Mouse and His Child. His star continued to rise as he would go on to work on major Pixar features including A Bug’s Life, Monster’s Inc., Cars, and Ratatouille.”

Another obit gives him credit for designing Woody, the co-star of Toy Story. includes a few works by Bud and comments by Jerry Beck.

His son Andy, posted this notice on Facebook:

With great sadness I announce the passing of my Dad: Bud Luckey.

My Dad was best known for his work in animation (PIXAR/Disney/Sesame Street) and as a voice actor (Eeyore, Agent Rick Dicker, Chuckles the Clown et al.). He loved his work but got even greater satisfaction from seeing others enjoy it.

He’ll be deeply missed by his friends, family and colleagues to whom he was just “Bud.”

His kind and easy going demeanor led his PIXAR colleagues to dub him “Bud Low-Key.”

He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

In lieu of flowers our family encourages donations to The California Institute of The Arts ­ Bud Luckey Scholarship Fund.

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