Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ron Dias

Word has come in from Mike Peraza at Disney that former Hanna-Barbera background artist Ron Dias died today. He had been living in Marina, California.

Ron was born in Honolulu in 1937 to Lino and Eve Dias; his father was a meter reader for an electrical company. After studying art, he began his career in animation at Disney as an in-betweener and clean-up artist on “Sleeping Beauty.” Disney laid off a number of staffers once the feature was completed and a few ended up at Hanna-Barbera. Ron didn’t get to H-B until 1964, where he worked on “Jonny Quest” (his credits are not on the DVD of the series) and the feature “Hey, There, It’s Yogi Bear.” You’ll find Ron’s credits on “Space Ghost,” “Secret Squirrel,” “Atom Ant” and a number of other H-B series through the latter part of the ‘60s.

Ron eventually returned to Disney to work on films and TV cartoons. A piece of his art that wasn’t in the final cut of “Beauty and the Beast” went for $44,000 at an auction in 1992.

I’m not competent enough to point out any of his art from Hanna-Barbera but you can see a couple of pieces if you click on his web site.

Our condolences to Ron’s family and his co-workers.


5 comments:

  1. Ron was a dear friend of mine for the last three years. When I was notified earlier today, I was just crushed. Ron was always so generous with his time and open to talking with fans. I had the chance to go visit him at his Marina home last August, and it's a trip that my wife and I will never forget. Ron was a one-of-a-kind talent and gentleman alike. He will be missed by all who knew him and his art.

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  2. I first learned of Ron Dias after seeing his name in credits of various H-B cartoons. After Googling his name I was thrilled to find he was still alive and active and had website www.rondias.com. Only recently I emailed Steve Kaplan at Animation Guild and suggested Mr. Dias would be great person to interview which he agreed. I watched an interview of him on Youtube where he encouraged fans to call him to talk shop. Just last week, I was working up courage to call him but now that will never happen. Really bummed out to hear this news. What a fantastic talent.

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  3. I remember seeing his name on the end credits of a few of the mid 60s HB-Shows, aka " Space Ghost " and others. Sorry to hear we've lost another great. My thoughts and prayers with be with his family.

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  4. The Yosemite-Oakhurst-Sierra 49Ears Disney Club is very sad to hear of Ron's passing. We remember and cherish the several times he visited with us, his laughter and wonderful stories. Our prayers of love and support go out to his family.

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  5. The photo above is Ron receiving a special award from Bill Hanna for the work he did on background art for the Emmy Award Winning T.V. Special for NBC on Jack in the Beanstalk for HB in 1967. He did lots more for HB as you mentioned, including artwork on some of the HBR record covers along with Willie Ito.

    I first met him when, Daws Butler invited me to come with him to visit Ron and Willie Ito when they were working in a small studio in Hollywood, above the old Wallich's Music City Record store at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, on a feature length animated film called METAMORPHOSIS or (WINDS OF CHANGE) for Sanrio Film Corporation of America, in 1975. Ron was credited as a background artist on this film as well. And his work was absolutely incredible.

    Over the next 35 + years, I would see Ron at gatherings associated with Disney. He was so talented, and such a friendly and kind man with lots of fascinating stories. I tried to get him to put his stories down on paper and hopefully he did.

    The last time I saw him he was at a Disneyana convention in Anaheim a few years ago. He along with Willie Ito was there doing personal appearances and signing their work. He signed a few things for me that day, including a couple of the record album covers that he did the art on. Ron was still as nice as ever. This is a great loss for both HB fans and Disney fans alike. My sincere condolences and prayers to his family. -
    Raymond Cox - raybo01@sbcglobal.net

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