Thursday, April 19, 2007

Century Birthday - Cecil Surry


Cecil Hays Surry was born in the state of Washington and raised on a fruit farm in Chelan County in the center of the state. His parents, Bert and Eliza (who went by Lydia) were from Ohio and Kentucky respectively. Following the death of Lydia in the mid 1920s, Bert moved Cecil and younger brother Paul south to San Diego, California.

Cecil moved to Hollywood in 1929 when he went to work for Walt Disney where he worked on the Silly Symphonies. After a short time with Disney, he migrated to Walter Lantz where he animated beside Sid Sutherland and Tex Avery. In 1936 Avery was offered an opportunity to direct at Leon Schlesinger's Studio. Surry and Sutherland joined him as animators in his unit a couple of months later.

In the mid 1930s Cecil met and married Constance Berry and they had three children, Kathleen, Sheila and John.

In the mid 1940s Cecil began doing comic book work for Western Publishing. By 1950s Cecil had a home on Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Woodland Hills and was animating at United Pictures of America, know better as UPA. At UPA he primarily worked on Mr. Magoo cartoons including the Oscar-winning shorts "When Magoo Flew" and "Magoo's Puddle Jumper."

Cecil Surry died suddenly on September 19, 1956 at the age of 49, the result of a heart condition.

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