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Richard Williams Of 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Fame Dies

Richard Williams, the Oscar- and Bafta-winning animator behind the ground-breaking film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, that merged animation and reality, has died.

Richard Williams, an Oscar-winning animator whose work on the bouncing cartoon bunny in Who Framed Roger Rabbit helped blur the boundaries between the animated world and our own, has died in England. He was 86.

Williams had cancer but he "was still animating and writing till the day he died", according to his daughter Natasha Sutton Williams.

Williams' career straddled the "Golden Age of Animation", which petered out between the 1950s and 60s, and the rise of computer-assisted animation in the 90s.

His best-known work remains as director of animation for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a 1988 film that married live action cinema and cartoons from all eras.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit blurred the lines between live-action and animation.

The film starring Bob Hoskins won Williams a Bafta as well as two Oscars: one in the special academy award category and one for special effects.

Williams also animated the title sequences for the 70s comedy classics The Return Of The Pink Panther and The Pink Panther Strikes Again, and worked on Casino Royale.

His first film, The Little Island, was released in 1958 and scooped a Bafta, and his animated adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in 1971 saw him take home his first Oscar.

Animator Richard Williams attends The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences And The Museum Of Modern Art Co-Present Richard Williams's The Thief And The Cobbler: A Moment In Time at MOMA - Celeste Bartos Theater on September 24, 2016 in New York City. Photo: Getty.

During his lengthy career, Williams also wrote a how-to book called The Animator's Survival Kit and was animating and writing until 6pm on the day he died, his daughter said.

She described her dad as the "link between the golden age of animation from the 1940s to the golden age of CGI and digital animation of now".

Williams is survived by his wife and longtime collaborator, Imogen Sutton, their two children, and four children from two previous marriages.