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Ralph Eggleston, Academy Award-Winning Pixar Animator, Dies at 56: Cause of Death Explained

Veteran animator, art director, and production designer Ralph Eggleston died on Sunday. He was 56 years old. Read on to learn how did Ralph Eggleston die, what happened to him, and what was the cause of his death.

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In his over 30-year-long career, the Pixar animator worked on masterpieces like “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc,” “Up,” “Wall-E,” “Finding Nemo,” etc. He also earned an Oscar for writing and directing “For the Birds.”


How did Pixar Animator Ralph Eggleston die?

Legendary Pixar animator Ralph Eggleston died on Sunday, August 28, 2024, in Lake Charles, Los Angeles, after having a long battle with Pancreatic Cancer. The official Pixar Twitter account announced the tragic news of Eggleston’s passing.

“In memory of Ralph Eggleston—animator, director, art director, storyboard artist, writer, production designer, and our dear friend. Pixar and the world will be forever grateful,” reads the Tweet with a picture of Ralph working on “Inside Out.”

Lightyear director Angus MacLane also paid tribute to the veteran animator. “Truly one of a kind. His massive talent was matched only by his kindness,” he wrote in the tweet.


Ralph Eggleston dead: What was the cause of his death?

Ralph Eggleston passed away due to Pancreatic Cancer, which is a type of cancer that spreads in the cells of the pancreas. This type of cancer is usually fatal as it is detected very late. The early symptoms are also very mild while the late symptoms are very general like weight loss.

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Eggleston was suffering from the disease for a long time but the diagnosis happened pretty late. Unfortunately, the legendary animator passed away this Sunday from Pancreatic cancer.


Ralph Eggleston had a highly decorated animation career

Ralph Eggleston was born October 18, 1956, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He went to Sam Houston High School in the same area and started his animation career at Bill Kroyer’s Kroyer Films. He started working on projects like the TV pilot Computer Warriors (1990) and the feature FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992).

Pixar hired Eggleston in 1992 during the development of the first computer-animated feature which was Toy Story. Eggleston worked as an art director on Toy Story which became a massive box office success in 1995. He also won his first Annie Award for his work.

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Eggleston became known as “Eggman” at the company as Pixar enjoyed blockbusters after blockbusters. He was one of the most important men in the organization and held his position for nearly three decades.

He worked as an art director on A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), and Up (2009). Eggleston was a story writer and visual developer on Monsters, Inc. (2001), a production designer on Finding Nemo (2003) and WALL-E (2008), and a character designer on Ratatouille (2007).

In 2000, Eggleston wrote and directed “For the Birds,” which helped him earn the Academy Awad and the Annie Award for the best animated short film. He also won two more Annies for his work on Finding Nemo and Inside Out.

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His final credited Pixar work came on Soul (2020) where he was the development artist. Outside of Pixar, Eggleston also worked on multiple Disney animation classics like Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), and Pocahontas (1995).

Eggleston won the ASIFA-Hollywood’s Winsor McCay Award for career achievement at the 46th annual Annie Awards in 2019. He was also honored with the VIEW Visionary Award in the same year.


Tributes coming in for Ralph Eggleston: The Man who made Childhoods colorful

Eggleston was the man who filled radiant colors in millions of childhoods with his remarkable animation work. You can pick any of the cartoon films from the late ‘90s to 2000s and Eggleston would be available in the credits.

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Ever since the tragic news of his passing emerged, fans and friends have been paying tribute to the legendary animator.

“I’m devastated to hear that Ralph Eggleston passed away of cancer at the age of 56. He was such an incredible artist having been the production designer on several Pixar films and giving them their unique look as well as directing the short For The Birds. I’ll seriously miss him,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

“Adios Maestro Ralph Eggleston. A true titan of our art form. He reached out to me after Book of Life and I will forever cherish our conversations. Before many knew he was sick he was trying to donate his spectacular art book collection to a Mexican animation school. That’s Ralph,” wrote another one.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Ralph’s family, friends, and loved ones. May God let the departed soul rest in peace.

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