Les Clark

Leslie James "Les" Clark (November 17, 1907 – September 12, 1979) was the first of Disney's Nine Old Men. Joining Disney in 1927, he was the only one to work on the origins of Mickey Mouse with Ub Iwerks.

Les Clark was born in Ogden, Utah in 1907, the eldest of 12 children to James Clark, a carpenter, and Lute Wadsworth. By 1910, the family lived in Salt Lake City and by 1920, they lived in Twin Falls, Idaho. By 1930, they lived in Los Angeles, where he attended Venice High School. During high school, he worked a summer job at an ice cream shop near Walt Disney Studios in Hollywood. Walt and Roy Disney were frequent patrons at the shop, and Walt had once complimented Les on his lettering job of the menus. Eventually, Les got the courage to ask Walt for a job. He recalled Walt's reply:

... 'Bring some of your drawings in and let's see what they look like.' So, I copied some cartoons and showed them to Walt. He said I had a good line, and why don't I come to work on Monday.

Les reported to the studio the Monday after he graduated high school for a temporary position.

He and his wife, Miriam, had a son, Richard, and a daughter, Miriam.

Les started work at the studio first as a camera operator and doing ink and paint on the animations. He moved on to work under the guidance of Ub Iwerks. During the development of the character Mickey Mouse, Clark was promoted to the position of 'inbetweener' where he worked on a scene for the upcoming Steamboat Willie. Les was then promoted to Animator and was tasked with the iconic scene The Skeleton Dance in Silly Symphony. After Ub Iwerks left Disney, Clark was given the position as lead animator on Mickey Mouse. He continued honing his craft, attending art classes while working at the studio. As he improved, he was given the task of animating The Seven Dwarfs in the upcoming film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in particular, the scene where Snow White dances with each of the seven dwarfs. He would go on to animate the iconic Disney characters Pinocchio, Cinderella, Alice and Tinkerbell.

This page was last edited on 16 June 2018, at 03:49 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Clark under CC BY-SA license.

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