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Terry Willers, 1934/35-2011
posted January 1, 2012
Terry Willers, the widely-published Irish cartoonist perhaps best known for his frequent, award-winning appearances cartooning on television, died at his home in the village of Rathdrum in eastern Ireland
. He was 76 years old.
Willers was born in England, and as a teenager became an intern with one of the studios doing work for Disney animation. His first high-profile work came with the Toonder Studios in the 1960s. His 1960s comics work included Panda
, Tom Poes
(where in 1963 he succeeded Dick Matena, staying on until 1965), Kappie
, one more stint on Tom Poes
and at least one story for Donald Duck
Willers eventually moved to Rathdrum where he lived for more than 40 years. He became a widely-published cartoonist in various Irish news publications, including the Sunday Independent
and Evening Herald
. He was a well-known presence on television shows in the 1970s and 1980s, including RTE's Hall's Pictorial Weekly and The Mike Murphy Show, where he charmed viewers with his drawings and provided many younger cartoonists with a face to place on that career. He won a Jacob's Award -- an Irish television award program established in the 1960s -- for those appearances. He illustrated several books, including Twelve Days Of Chaos
(1997) and Stop Howling At The Moon
Willers also organized his adopted hometown's Guinness International Cartoon Festival for several years, starting in 1992.
A collection of his 1990s strips for the Evening Herald are held
at the National Library Of Ireland.
Willers is survived by a wife, and daughter and a son. He will be buried in Rathdrum this weekend.