Senior High Alumni remember "class acts"

Billings native and Oscar-nominated animator, Bud Luckey has died. Luckey was one of a handful of esteemed graduates from Billings Senior High School in the mid 50's.

KULR-8 spoke with some of those who've made a name for themselves beyond the big sky. It can be common for celebrities to come from the same town, but when you have four of them who came from the same high school around the same graduating class, well that's pretty unheard of.

"He walked like him.," David North said. "The minute you saw him, you were like, 'wait. that's him!'"

David North recalls how Bud Luckey actually looked like Woody from the movie Toy Story.

"He'd come in and you'd look at his boots to see if he'd scraped off the bottom of his boots from cleaning the barn, or whatever, and you expected him to kind of have a straw out of his mouth."

North was the chief designer for General Motors for more than 32 years and graduated from Senior High around the same time as Bud. Frederick Jackson is another Senior High student, who graduated in 1957. Jackson was a sculptor for Mattel- where Barbie was born.

"Senior high was amazing at that time."

Last, but not least, another senior standout alum was Bruce Ryniker, a designer best known for designing some of the Hot Wheels cars and the popular Plymouth Roadrunner.

Jackson said a lot of their success goes to their art teacher at the time Mr. Bailey.

"Mr. Bailey encouraged you to draw the way you draw. Bruce Ryniker drew cars, but Luckey drew cars and cartoons."

Though Bud Luckey was best known for designing Toy Story's 'Woody', David North said Bud was more than that.

"He did some producing, he was nominated for an academy award for a short that he did. He did the story line for it and a lot of the animation."

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