Peanuts Animator Dies
Bill Melendez was also 'voice' of Snoopy
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2008 4:33 AM CDT
"Peanuts" animator Bill Melendez in his Sherman Oaks studio in Los Angeles. Melendez, the animator who gave life to the cartoon characters in scores of TV specials and movies, died Tuesday.    (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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(Newser) – The creator of the Charlie Brown TV specials and movies, one of the most popular animation franchises in entertainment history, has died at the age of 91 in Santa Monica, reports the Los Angeles Times. Jose Cuautemoc "Bill" Melendez brought the Peanuts characters to the screen and was the voice behind Snoopy's laughs, sobs and howls.

Melendez got his start at Disney and contributed to such classic films as Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi and Dumbo. His award-winning work on the Peanuts franchise includes 63 half-hour specials, five one-hour specials, the Saturday morning TV show and four feature films. He "brought his special warmth and directness to the Charles Schulz characters and
brought them to life," said an animation historian.