Disney animator Ann Sullivan, who worked on classics such as The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, has died of coronavirus aged 91.

Sullivan started working for Disney all the way back in the 1950s, taking a break for several years to start a family, before going back in the 1970s.

Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

During her long career she painted and inked scenes in a number of well-loved cartoons including Lilo and Stitch and Pocahontas. She switched over to computerised animation, before eventually retiring in the early 2000s.

Sullivan died at the Motion Picture and Television Fund skilled-nursing facility in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, where two other people have died due to the ongoing pandemic.

In a statement to Yahoo MPTF said“We called her ‘Giggles’ at MPTF. You couldn’t help but fall in love with her laugh.”

While nursing home’s chaplain Dina Kuperstock added that the animator ‘had the best laugh of any person I’ve ever known. Ann didn’t just laugh with a sound. When she giggled, her whole body would shake and light up with joy, and it was contagious for everyone in the room.’

Speaking to Deadline, MPTF president and CEO said: “There are good days and bad days. This was one of the bad days.

Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

“I expect there will be more before we get through the tunnel. We’ve got people working very long hours under stressful conditions, providing not only incredible care, but constant communication with family members.

The industry can be proud that it has supported us over the years so that we can provide this care to the most frail and vulnerable, and in some cases, to the end of their lives with gentle and dignified transitions.”

Paying tribute to Sullivan he added:

“Ann Sullivan was a remarkably gifted and resilient woman who chased her dream of life in California and work at Walt Disney and succeeded with grace and resiliency.

Allen Garfield, 80, and John Breier, 64, have both also died at the nursing home, which has reported 13 positive coronavirus cases in residents and eight cases in caretakers. Ten of those who tested positive are currently receiving treatment in isolation units.

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