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 Virgil Walter Ross  (1907 - 1996)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: cartoons, animation (Bugs Bunny)

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Hair-Raising Hare Bugs Bunny and Gossamer Monster Drawing (Warner Brothers, c. 1990s).
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in New York on Aug. 8, 1907.  By 1930 Ross had settled in Los Angeles.  He died there on May 15, 1996.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
City Directory; Death Record
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from Heritage Auctions:
Virgil Ross (1907-1996)

He began his animation career with the Winkler Studios in the late 1920s, then went on to Ub Iwerks, where he rose from the rank of in-betweener to animator and worked with Tex Avery.  In 1935, Ross and Avery left Ub Iwerks and joined Warner Bros. where they created the first Bugs Bunny animated short, A Wild Hare in 1940, which brought Bugs his first Oscar nomination. 

In 1942, after stints with other Warner Bros. directors such as Chuck Jones and Bob Clampett, Ross began a long career with Friz Freleng’s unit, where he animated over 230 cartoons, many of which were nominated for Oscars.  Four Ross-animated cartoons won Oscars: Tweety Pie (1947), Speedy Gonzales (1955), Birds Anonymous (1957), and Knighty Knight Bugs (1958). Knighty Knight Bugs was Bugs Bunny’s only Oscar-winning performance.

Known for bringing personality into the characters he animated, Ross’ style is said to be one of the finest examples of personality animation in the world.   Ross, who died in 1996, had said his favorite animation effort was Rhapsody Rabbit, in which he played some of the cartoon’s classical music and honky-tonk tunes.

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