Pioneering artist Tyrus Wong dies at 106

His paintings served as the visual inspiration for Disney's 'Bambi.'

Tyrus Wong, the pioneering Chinese American artist who paintings served as visual inspiration for Disney's animated classic Bambi and other Hollywood works, died on Friday. He was 106.

Tyrus Wong, Pioneer 'Bambi' Artist, Dies at 106

Wong was a painter, muralist, ceramicist, lithographer, designer and kite maker. His professional career included working as a greeting card designer for Hallmark, a film production illustrator for Warner Brothers, and an inspirational sketch artist for Disney, where he most famously served as the lead artist for Bambi.

Wong's death was announced on the Facebook page for Tyrus, the 2015 documentary on his life and career.

"With his passing, we have lost a brilliant artist, motion picture & animation legend, Chinese American pioneer, and hero," the post read. "He survived Angel Island, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Great Depression, discrimination, and the loss of Ruth, his soul mate and beloved wife of over 50 years. Yet Tyrus always faced adversity with dignity, courage -- and art."

In 2001, Wong was named a "Disney Legend," and in 2013 his artwork was featured in the Walt Disney Family Museum. In 2004, the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles showcased Wong's work in "Tyrus Wong: A Retrospective," an exhibit celebrating his long, pioneering career.

Wong is survived by his daughters Kim, Kay and Tai-Ling.

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