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Roobarb cartoon animator Godfrey dies, 91

The animator of much-loved cartoons Roobarb and Henry's Cat has died aged 91.

Bob Godfrey, whose career spanned 50 years, was also responsible for Noah and Nelly... in SkylArk and the risque cartoon series Henry 9 to 5.

He was awarded three Baftas, won an Oscar for his short Great in 1976, and received an MBE in June 1986.

Godfrey was born in Australia in January 1921, but was educated in east London before going on to forge a career as an advertising graphic artist.

He joined the innovative Larkin Studio in the early 1950s, where he made his earliest cartoons and then worked on some of the first commercials for ITV.

But he sought to work outside the American tradition, characterised by Disney and typically took a more unorthodox view, producing work such as The Do-It-Yourself Cartoon Kit in 1961.

He later animated the children's classic Roobarb, created by Grange Calveley and narrated by Richard Briers, who died this week.

The anarchic cartoon about a warring cat and dog, with its memorable theme tune and wobbly dog animation won a cult following, which continues today.

He collaborated once again with Calveley and Briers on 1976's Noah and Nelly in.... SkylArk, returning successfully to children's TV with Henry's Cat in the early 1980s.

But he was at his happiest when he was pushing the boundaries of conventional animation, working alongside avant-garde stars such as Spike Milligan and Michael Bentine, hob-nobbing with the Beatles and, later, becoming an inspiration for a young Terry Gilliam.

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