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Gerald Potterton, director of the cult classic animated film Heavy Metal, has died at the age of 91. Potterton was born in London, England March 8, 1931, and imigrated to Canada in 1955. He died August 23, 2022, in Lac-Brome, Quebec, Canada. 

Potterton was an animator, a director, a producer, a writer, and an actor. He was three times nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short: for My Financial Career (1962), Christas Cracker (1963) and The Selfish Giant (2972). He directed the first two; he was producer of the third. However, much of his notoriety came from his animation work on the Beatles animated feature Yellow Submarine (1968) and for directing Heavy Metal (1981).

Potterton also directed Buster Keaton’s final silent film, The Railrodder(1965), which earned an Honorable Mention at the Berlin International Film Festival in the Short Film category. In 1988, he wrote and directed the movie Ghost Ship.

As an actor, he played the chauffeur in the shirt The Ride (1963), which he also wrote and directed. He appeared on Sesame Street as George the Farmer. He also directed animated sequences for Sesame Street.

He was a director and one of the writers for the Hanna-Barbera’s animated series Young Robin Hood. He had ten credits as a writer, two as an actor, eight as a producer, nineteen as a director, and fourteen as an animator.

The legacy of Gerald Potteron is profound, and a model for many of those who came after. Rest in peace, Gerald Potterton. You did very well indeed. And thank you.

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.