Published on: 22 February 2013 in Directors UK

Roobarb director Bob Godfrey dies

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Bob Godrey, the director of such animated classics as Roobarb and Henry’s Cat, has died aged 91.

Godfrey was born in Australia, on 27 January 1921, but moved to London as a child. He began his career as an animator in the 50s, working first with Larkin Studio and then forming Biographic Films to create commercials.

In the 60s Bob moved into “adult animation” with his company Bob Godfrey Films, directing such films as Henry 9 to 5 and Kama Sutra Rides Again, which earned him his first Oscar nomination.

However that wasn’t to be his only nod from the Academy: his short film Great, which satirised Victorian attitudes and the decline of the British Empire, won him the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1976, along with a BAFTA too.

The 70s also saw the birth of what became his most beloved cartoon, Roobarb, about a feuding cat and dog that featured narration from Richard Briers. Meanwhile, Henry’s Cat, another children’s favourite, debuted in the early 1980s.

According to the BBC, Godfrey continued to work on commercials and TV commissions into his early 80s, producing his last work, Channel 4's Millennium: The Musical, in 1999. For more on Bob Godfrey, please read Tony Collingwood’s tribute to the director on our site next week, or read the BBC's obituary here.

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