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. Animation.
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 and Jerry.
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.