Among the stable of “enormous” talents at The Walt Disney Studios, Claude Coats stood above the rest – literally. Claude, a background painter, color stylist and concept designer, stood 6-feet, 6 1/8-inches tall. The gentle giant with a warm wit once recalled how Walt used to kid him about his height. Claude said, “When the Disneyland Stagecoach was completed at the Studio, Walt and a driver were giving rides around the lot, but he wouldn’t let me get in. He said I spoiled the scale.”
Born January 17, 1913, in San Francisco, Calif., Claude graduated from the University of Southern California, in 1934, with an architecture and fine arts degree. He went on to study at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles before joining The Walt Disney Studios as a background painter in June 1935.
Claude’s stunning, watercolor background paintings featured in “Pinocchio,” continue to be heralded by Disney scholars, fans and art collectors for the rich and textured beauty they lend to the… read more