Saturday, March 17, 2007

Century Birthday - Johnny Cannon


John William Cannon was born on March 17, 1907 in Terre Haute, Indiana. At the time, his father was working as a switchman for the railroad.

His parents, John and Maybelle, had married in 1906, and they had three sons; Johnny, Guy and Maurice. By the time Johnny was eleven, his parents had divorced. His brothers were taken by their father to live with their grandmother in Decatur, Illinois and Johnny stayed with his mother.

While in his late teens he moved to California and lived just a few steps from the beach on Ozone Avenue in Ocean Park near Santa Monica.

He was hired at the Disney Studio in 1927 to work on the Oswald cartoons. In 1928 Charles Mintz pulled the Oswald contract and a majority of the artists departed, Johnny was among the few who stuck with Walt. He wouldn’t have know that Mickey Mouse was about to make his appearance.

He was promoted to animator on the Mickey Mouse shorts and it seems that he remained on shorts throughout his time at Disney’s.

Following his departure from the Disney Studio in 1940, it is not known where he worked, but he was an artist at one of the studios when, sadly, he suffered a fatal heart attack on December 6, 1946.

Cannon is among those featured playing softball in the rare footage recently released on the DVD set, “More Silly Symphonies” In Leonard Maltin's commentary he is said to have been thrown out at second base (although it is clearly not Cannon! -- it is in fact, Hardie Gramatky.) Cannon can be seen later in a challenge for a bat with director Jack King.) In a few days I will be posting a detailed listing of the softball players.


Hans Perk said...

Late 1932 - early 1933, Johnny Cannon lived at 1261 Linda Rosa St., Eagle Rock, just south off Colorado Blvd...

Joe Campana said...

Thanks Hans,
I have him on Linda Rosa until (at least) early 1934, but by late '35 he was in Atwater Village at 4112 Brunswick Ave. Just a short hop from the studio...

Anonymous said...

You write very well.