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Animation Legend Joseph Barbera Dies at 95

Dec 19, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Joseph Barbera, early animation entrepreneur and studio chief, died Monday in Studio City, Calif. He was 95.

“Joe Barbera was a passionate storyteller and a creative genius who, along with his late partner Bill Hanna, helped pioneer the work of animation,” Warner Bros. Animation President Sander Schwartz said in a statement. “Joe’s contributions to both the animation and television industries are without parallel- he has been personally responsible for entertaining countless millions of viewers across the globe.”

His co-creations include shows such as “Tom and Jerry,” “Huckleberry Hound,” “The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons,” “Scooby-Doo,” and “Yogi Bear.” In 1957, he co-founded Hanna-Barbera Studios, one of the first independent animation studios to produce its own television series. Three years later, “The Flintstones” debuted as TV’s first full-length animated family sitcom to air in primetime with human characters. Later, the studio brought “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” to TV, which remains the longest-running animated series in television history.

Mr. Barbera and his partner garnered several industry honors including two daytime Emmy Awards in 1982 and a Humanitas Award in 1987 for the series “The Smurfs,” as well as induction into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Hall of Fame in 1994. He returned to the cat and mouse which launched his career by serving as a creative consultant for a 1992 “Tom and Jerry” feature film.

Mr. Barbera is survived by his wife Sheila and his three children Jayne, Neal, and Lynn from a previous marriage.

(Editor: Baumann)