Animation legend Joseph Barbera, co-chairman
and co-founder of Hanna-Barbera Studios, died Dec. 18 at his Studio City,
Calif., home. He was 95.
Hanna-Barbera, founded in 1944, was subsequently sold and, in 1991, was
bought by Turner Broadcasting, which used its 300-plus cartoon-series library
as the basis for Cartoon Network. During the late '90s, Hanna-Barbera primarily
produced new material for it.
In 1996, Turner was bought out by Time Warner and, with the death of
co-founder William Hanna in 2001, Hanna-Barbera was absorbed into Warner Bros.
Barbera and Hanna created hundreds of cartoon characters during their
60-plus-year partnership, some of them the world's most recognizable
characters: Tom and Jerry, Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones, The Jetsons,
Scooby-Doo and Yogi Bear.
The pair teamed up when they were hired at MGM in 1937, Barbera as an
animator/writer and Hanna as a director/story editor. Their first collaboration
was Puss Gets the Boot, which led to the creation of Tom
When MGM closed its animation department, Hanna and Barbera formed
Hanna-Barbera Studios, one of the first independent animation studios to
produce series TV. Its second production, The Huckleberry Hound
Show, won the studio its first Emmy, the first time an animated
series had been so honored.
Barbera is survived by his wife, Sheila, and three children.