Sneezy the Allergic One

Following his success in Snow White, Sneezy was signed up as a spokesperson for Claritin. The multi-year deal ended up litigation when he was unable to stop sneezing.

   He travelled to China, where he hosted a short-lived radio program called Ah-Choo.

   In 1940, he collapsed on set during filming of the ill-fated indy production Back To The Mines: Sneezy; The Early Years. He was unable to continue production.

   After suffering another near-fatal seizure at a 1941 Christmas party at the Walt Disney Studios, Sneezy was admitted to Johns Hopkins for extensive testing.

 He was diagnosed with Huephenism, a rare allergy to coloured pencils and paints.

Limited for health reasons to black and white work, Sneezy turned to daily newspaper comic strips, where he appeared in two Tracy series as the villain Floppy Hat. The character met with little success and was dropped. 

In 1944, he made a brief appearance as a newborn sasquatch in the Mark Trail strip.

Destitute, Sneezy retired to his home in White Plains, NY. He published his autobiography, 'If I'd Only Had a Penny For Every Gesundheit' , in 1950.

With his small book earnings, Sneezy sought to change his image. He became a steroid user and had multiple unsuccessful plastic surgeries on his nose, which had become inflamed and grotesquely swollen.

In the late 1970's, he bumped into cartoonist Berkely Breathed at an AA meeting. The chance encounter would save Sneezy's life.

The visionary Breathed saw something in the failing film star, and worked to create a new comic character for him to play.

"With his huephenism, of course, it had to be either a penguin or an orca," recalled Breathed at Sneezy's 80th birthday party.

"I went with the penguin, since orcas aren't very cuddly."

Protected from colour by a green-screen drawing method, Sneezy has now played Opus for nearly eighteen years in newspapers around the world.

The End

12 comments about this story Feed