Ed Levitt, noted cartoonist, beloved husband, father, and grandfather passed away in Palmdale, California at the age of 97.
Ed was an accomplished artist by his early teenage years and started working at the Walt Disney Studios when he was 21. On his first day at Disney, he was immediately put to work on "Snow White," and later worked on "Pinocchio," "Fantasia" and "Bambi." He is the last surviving artist from those early Disney years.
During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps where he did training films. Ed worked on many animated classics, including "Crusader Rabbit," "Gerald Mac Boing Boing," "Calvin and the Colonel," "Gay Pur-ee," "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," "Babar the Elephant" and others.
Ed chose the colors for what was to become the NBC Peacock when it went from black-and-white to color. He was one of the leading artists for the Charlie Brown specials (12 in all), starting with "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which received an Emmy Award. Contrary to many, he predicted that "A Charlie Brown Christmas" would become a popular holiday fixture on television. He came up with the phrase "Graphic Blandishments" to introduce the animators in the credits for the "Peanuts" shows.
Ed was president of the Screen Cartoonists Guild twice and was a respected member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He retired to his ranch in the mountains north of Los Angeles in 1973.
Edward is predeceased by his wife, Dorothy. He is survived by his brother, Julius Levitt; sister, Annette Priemer; his four children, Alan Cyders; Geoffrey, Dan and Paul Levitt, along with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their spouses. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 N. Sierra Hwy, Newhall, CA 91321. (661) 259-0800. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital.