Disney legend and centenarian, Ruthie Tompson, shares her longevity secrets

WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Ruthie Tompson is a centenarian and Disney animation legend who's still going strong at 107. So what's her secret to living a long life?

Among her many credits, she's been a part of Disney classics "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia."

Her voice and her technical mind helped cartoon creators achieve the early beginnings of 3-D animation. Using her camera, she figured out a way to make Mickey Mouse turn around on screen.

It was a breakthrough at the time.

"That's what scene planning was and that's what I was in charge of when I left," Tompson said.

For her achievements, Tompson was honored at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and celebrated her 107th birthday at Disneyland.

She lives at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills.

Dr. Scott Kaiser, chief innovations officer for the MPTF said, Tompson never stops being active.

"She has a reason to get up in the morning. She's connected. She's engaged. She's always learning new things," he said

Tompson also eats a lot of broccoli. She takes vitamin C daily and doesn't eat a lot of sugar. But she said her secret to longevity is her attitude because she lives with gratitude.

"There's so many factors about why we're living longer. The question is, how can we live better?" Kaiser said.

For the first time in human history, we'll soon have more people living over the age of 65 than under the age of 5, according to Kaiser.

The secret? Staying engaged in life.

"Staying socially connected, having a strong sense of purpose. That actually yields benefits in your physical health, not just your emotional and mental health," Kaiser said.

Tompson is learning to make movies on her smart phone. She still enjoys challenging herself and others.

"Don't quit. Read as much as you can. Do as much as you can. Play as much as you can - play a lot," she said.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of this station.
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