Bud Luckey, the man behind Toy Story’s Sheriff Woody, has passed away at the age of 83. Lucey was a man of many extraordinary talents. In addition to his work with Pixar, which began in 1990, Lucey is responsible for a lot of Sesame Street‘s classic animated pieces, including Ladybug Picnic, The Alligator King, and Martian Beauty. Luckey provided the animation in addition to writing the songs and providing the vocals and other voice work. Bud’s son, Andy Luckey, announced the news of his death on social media.
Andy Luckey, who is best known as an executive producer on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon took to social media to pay tribute to his father, who friends and family simply referred to as Bud. Bud Luckey was reportedly saw easy-going that Pixar dubbed him “Bud Low-Key.” Andy talked about his dad’s passion for his work but highlighted that he preferred to watch people enjoy his work rather than take credit for making it. He had this to say.
“With great sadness I announce the passing of my Dad: Bud Luckey. My Dad was best known for his work in animation (Pixar/Disney/Sesame Street) and as a voice actor (Eeyore, Agent Rick Dicker, Chuckles the Clown et al.). He loved his work but got even greater satisfaction from seeing others enjoy it. He’ll be deeply missed by his friends, family and colleagues to whom he was just “Bud.” His kind and easy going demeanor led his Pixar colleagues to dub him “Bud Low-Key.” He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. In lieu of flowers our family encourages donations to The California Institute of The Arts — Bud Luckey Scholarship Fund.”
Bud Luckey was born July 28th, 1934 in Billings, Montana, where he was raised as well. Luckey served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War as a Visual Information Specialist with the NATO Allied Occupation Forces in Europe and North Africa from 1953 to 1954 and, later, with the Strategic Air Command from 1954 to 1957. After leaving the Air Force, Luckey attended Chouinard Art Institute (later known as Cal Arts) from 1957 to 1960 and was considered to be a Disney scholar. He later was trained in animation under Disney veteran animator Art Babbitt.
Bud Luckey started animation on the Alvin Show in 1961 and continued to work in commercials throughout the rest of the 1960s. Luckey worked on commercials for Kellogg’s breakfast cereals including Frosted Flakes with Tony the Tiger, Fruit Loops with Toucan Sam, Rice Krispies with Snap, Crackle, and Pop, and then later went on to work with Rocky and Bullwinkle animator Alex Anderson. Bud Luckey then worked with Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, which is where he met friend and future collaborator Don Hadley. The two later worked together on Sesame Street, creating over a dozen of the most memorable animated pieces in the show’s long history.
Bud Luckey worked with Sesame Street throughout the 1970s and 80s, also lending his talents to Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH in the process. Luckey joined forces with Pixar in 1990 and went on to help create and design Sheriff Woody for the massive Disney/Pixar franchise Toy Story and even voiced Eeyore in the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie. This is only a fraction of what Bud Luckey was able to achieve in his 83 years, his work touched and continues to touch new generations every day. No word on whether or not Luckey was involved in the upcoming Toy Story 4. You can read more about Bud Luckey over through https://www.facebook.com/andy.luckey|Andy Luckey’s Facebook page. Rest in Peace, Bud Luckey.