Portrait of Lee Le Blanc by his daugther Deirdre Le Blanc
(© Deirdre Le Blanc; used with the artist’s permission)
Lee Le Blanc, 1913-1988 (Image © Deirdre Le Blanc Private Collection; used with permission)
A full biography written by his daugther Breirdre can be read at:
Since his birth in Powers, Michigan, in 1913, Lee LeBlanc’s life has been filled with creativity. He attended LaFrance Art Institute, Philadelphia; Art Students League, New York; Chiunard School of Art and Jepsen Art School, both in Los Angeles. He was tutored by Nicolai Fechin and by Will Foster.
Lee was a commercial artist until 1939 when he joined Walt Disney.
From Dreirdre “Dad’s first job in the studios was with Walt Disney, where he made a whopping $10.00 a week. After that he held slightly higher paying jobs at Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies.”
“In 1941, he went to Twentieth Century Fox, his first job was building miniatures, but he spent every spare moment downstairs in the Matte Painting Department, talking to the artists and getting to know Fred Sersen, the head of the department, until he finally talked his way in as an apprentice painter.”
“In 1955 Dad went hunting for another job, but now he was looking for one that would make him the head of the department. He finally landed the position as head of Matte Painting at MGM, where Warren Newcomb, a most eccentric man, was about to retire.”
“In 1962 Dad quit MGM”
Retirement merely meant a different focus for his art.
He illustrated children’s wildlife books and did illustrations for national magazines and for companies including Brown & Biglow and Gibson Greeting Cards. Many of Lee’s paintings have been reproduced as limited edition prints. They have achieved a remarkable “sold out” record, thanks to his ever-growing popularity with collectors.
A sample of wildlife painting.
- Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) (special visual effects)
- Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) (special visual effects)
- Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1961) (special effects)
- Two Loves (1961) (special effects)
- Honeymoon Machine, The (1961) (special effects)
- Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961) (special effects)
- King of Kings (1961) (special photographic effects)
- Ada (1961) (special visual effects)
- Cimarron (1960) (special effects)
- Where the Boys Are (1960) (special effects)
- Subterraneans, The (1960) (special effects)
- Bells Are Ringing (1960) (special effects)
- Never So Few (1959) (special effects)
- Tarzan, the Ape Man (1959) (special effects)
- Wreck of the Mary Deare, The (1959) (special effects)
- Green Mansions (1959) (special effects)
- North by Northwest (1959) (special effects)
- World, the Flesh and the Devil, The (1959) (special effects)
- Ben-Hur (1959) (special photographic effects)
- Law and Jake Wade, The (1958) (special effects)
- Party Girl (1958) (special effects)
- Brothers Karamazov, The (1958) (special effects)
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) (special effects)