Alvarado was born in Raton, New Mexico, and grew up in Glendale, California. He attended the Chouinard Art Institute in the 1930; after graduation he was hired as an assistant animator by the Walt Disney Studio. He provided uncredited work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Around 1939 Alvarado left Disney to find work in New York City, where he provided his earliest comic book art for Funnies Inc., which supplied artwork for Fawcett Publications and Timely Comics (now Marvel Comics).
Alvarado returned to California and Disney Studio in 1941. He left Disney in 1946 to work for Warner Bros. Animation.
Alvarado went on to draw the Gene Autry newspaper strip and comic book, the Mr. Magoo newspaper strip for its entire run, a long period of the Little Lulu newspaper strip, some work on the Flintstones and Yogi Bear newspaper strip, and fill-in work for almost all the Disney newspaper strips, including an extended period as the main artist on Donald Duck.
The bulk of Alvarado's work at Western was for their "funny animal" line of comic books. Alvarado provided artwork for almost every Disney (Chip 'n Dale, Scamp), Warner Bros. (Tweety & Sylvester, Road Runner), Hanna-Barbera (Yogi Bear) and Walter Lantz (Andy Panda) licensed title. He also illustrated comic book adaptations of the animated films The Rescuers, Robin Hood, and Gay Purr-ee.
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Sabrina Alberghetti • Flemming Andersen • Carl Barks • Ted Berman • Jack Bradbury • Daniel Branca • Giovan Battista Carpi • Byron Erickson • César Ferioli • David Gerstein • Bob Gregory • Manuel Gonzales • Floyd Gottfredson • Mau Heymans • John Lustig • Bob Karp • Dick Kinney • Amy Mebberson • Paul Murry • Don Rosa • Marco Rota • Romano Scarpa • James Silvani • Tony Strobl • Al Taliaferro • Noel Van Horn • William Van Horn • Vicar • Silvia Ziche