Longtime The Simpsons animator and assistant director Edwin Aguilar has died following his hospitalization due to a massive stroke. The talented cartoonist, martial arts practitioner and father of three “passed peacefully” on Saturday, April 10, according to an update to the GoFundMe campaign set up to help cover his medical costs. He was 46 years old.
Born in El Salvador, Aguilar immigrated to the U.S. in 1982 with one of his brothers to reunite with family in Los Angeles. He studied illustration at Pasadena’s ArtCenter and began his career as an assistant animator at Graz Entertainment. He went on to work at Hanna-Barbera and under Looney Tunes icon Chuck Jones at Warner Bros.
Aguilar first joined The Simpsons crew in 1999 as a character layout artist, and over the next two decades would also contribute to the fan favourite FOX series as an animator, storyboard artist/revisionist, character designer, animatic layout artist and assistant director. He worked on the 2007 The Simpsons Movie as a character layout artist.
Outside Springfield, Aguilar’s credits include The WB/Adult Swim series The Oblongs (character layout artist), Comedy Central’s Brickleberry (storyboard artist), the animation used in Kelly Fremon Craig’s Golden Globe-nominated dramedy The Edge of Seventeen (animator/layout artist) and Greg Reitman’s documentary Rooted in Peace (animation director).
Outpourings of remembrance flooded Twitter following the tragic news, from the animation industry, colleagues, friends and the L.A. Salvadoran community. The Simpsons producer Matt Selman wrote: “We @TheSimpsons family are mourning the loss of animator Edwin Aguilar — a talented artist and beloved fountain of love and inspiration to all.”
Aguilar is survived by his wife, Marike, and his children, Jonathon, Maya and Bodhi.