Jack Iversen, an award-winning cartoonist, display artist and toy designer, died Friday, September 10, 2004 at his home in Shadow Hills, California after a long bout with cancer. He was 77.
Iversen was born in Wichita, Kansas on January 4, 1927, during a family move to Denver, Colorado, where they finally settled. Jack grew up and in 1942 eventually moved to Los Angeles where he began a successful career as an animator with the Walt Disney Studios. After a hiatus from Disney, Jack joined Leon Schlesinger's "Loonie Tunes", which later became Warner Bros Cartoons.
In 1943 Jack enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp, and after WWII resumed his cartoonist career with another stint at Disney as an illustrator. He also later worked for Hanna-Barbera, and was a print media cartoonist/illustrator for Collier's Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post and many other publications.
In addition to his skill as an artist, Iversen was a professional musician. As a drummer, he played with the Sonny Dunham Band. And Jack also worked as a radio actor in Colorado.
Jack enjoyed illustrating children's books for their authors, and finally wrote his own children's books which of course he illustrated in his own unique and successful style. "Here Comes The Loonies...Thank God," "No Rhinos," "Jimmy Travis's Song," and "Stories From The Bible" were his most popular publications.
Iversen then had the pleasure of illustrating his own wife's (former actress Eleni-Dayle Iversen) beauty book "Look Younger, Longer Without Plastic Surgery." Jack's "wacky" sense of humor can be enjoyed in many of the 60 illustrations.
In 1997, he teamed together with 6 close friends and founded the non-profit Western appreciation organization, The Reel Cowboys. The Reel Cowboys was originally comprised of TV & film actors, directors and producers, stunt men and women and 'behind the scenes' types in the entertainment industry. Its' aim was to keep alive the wholesome values and good morals portrayed in the traditional stories of "good triumphs over evil" of our Western tales from television and feature films. A mission that continues to this day! Jack served many years as First Vice President, was the organization's archivist and was Beloved as a "guiding light" in the groups' efforts to continue the good intentions for which it was originally founded.
The Reel Cowboys, which now has grown to more than 150 members, produces the annual Silver Spur Awards to honor our past and present Western film and TV participants. And The Silver Spur Awards Banquet is responsible for the largest portion of funding raised and donated to selected and worthy charities. Many thousands of dollars, over the years, have been raised which helped Women's Care Cottage, (North Hollywood), The YWCA Domestic Violence Program (Southern California), The John Tracy Clinic, including Boys and Girl Town, Tierra Del Sol, (Shadow Hills), S.E.R.T. (Special Equestrian Riding Therapy), The Burbank Temporary Aid Society and many others. And 2008 marks the 12th Annual Silver Spurs Awards!
We, of The Reel Cowboys, especially those that had the privilage to know him, and to work with him, will forever owe a great debt to Jack's fortitude, dedication and hard work that he always exhibited to make The Reel Cowboys the successful organization that it is today.
Jack was survived by dear Eleni-Dayle, two sons, Greg and Peter and two daughters, Nikki and Teena, and grandson Eli.