JOSEPH BARBERA Biography - Fictional, Iconical & Mythological characters


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Name: Joseph Barbera                                                                     
Born: 24 March 1911 New York City, USA                                                   
Died: 18 December 2006 Los Angeles, California, USA                                     
Joseph Roland "Joe" Barbera (March 24, 1911 – December 18, 2006) was an American       
animator, cartoon artist, storyboard artist, director, producer, and co-founder,         
together with William Hanna, of Hanna-Barbera. The studio produced popular               
cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Flintstones, The         
Jetsons, and Scooby-Doo, as well as the musical film Charlotte's Web.                   
Joseph Barbera (pronounced bar-BEAR-uh) was born in the Little Italy section of         
Manhattan, New York, to immigrants of Sicilian descent.                                 
Barbera started his career as a tailor's delivery boy. During the Great                 
Depression he tried unsuccessfully to become a magazine cartoonist for a                 
magazine called The NY Hits Magazine. Additionally, he once told of a letter             
that he wrote to Walt Disney asking for advice about getting started in the             
animation industry. Barbera said that Disney wrote back and replied that "its a         
tough business" and that he (Barbera) should seek another line of work.                 
Undeterred by Disney's comments, Joe Barbera pressed forward.                           
In 1932, he joined the Van Beuren Studio as an animator and scriptwriter. He             
worked on cartoons such as Cubby Bear, and Rainbow Parades and also co-produced         
Tom and Jerry (a couple of boys, unrelated to his later cat-and-mouse series).           
When Van Beuren closed down in 1936, Barbera moved over to the MGM studios.             
Lured by a substantial salary increase, Barbera left Terrytoons and New York for         
the new MGM cartoon unit in California in 1937. The following year, he teamed up         
with William Hanna to direct theatrical short cartoons; Barbera was the                 
storyboard/layout artist, and Hanna was in charge of the timing. Their first             
venture was Puss Gets the Boot (1940), the first Tom and Jerry film, which was           
nominated for an Academy Award for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject.                         
Hanna-Barbera founders William Hanna and Joseph Barbera pose with several of the         
Emmy awards the Hanna-Barbera studio has won.                                           
Hanna and Barbera's 17-year partnership on the Tom & Jerry series resulted in 7         
Academy Awards for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject, and 14 total nominations, more         
than any other character-based theatrical animated series. Hanna and Barbera             
were placed in charge of MGM's animation division in late 1955; however, this           
proved short-lived as MGM closed the division in 1957. They subsequently teamed         
up to produce the series The Ruff & Reddy Show, under the name H-B Enterprises,         
soon changed to Hanna-Barbera Productions. By using the limited animation               
techniques, Hanna and Barbera could provide programming for networks at reduced         
By the late 1960s, Hanna-Barbera Productions had become the most successful             
television animation studio, producing hit television programs such as The               
Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!.                   
Hanna-Barbera had been a subsidiary of Taft Broadcasting (later Great American           
Communications) since 1967. The studio thrived until 1991, when it was sold to           
Turner Broadcasting. Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors and periodically           
worked on new Hanna-Barbera shows, including the What-a-Cartoon! series.                 
Hanna-Barbera, received eight Emmys, including the Governors Award of the               
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1988.                                           
Their strengths melded perfectly, critic Leonard Maltin wrote in his book Of             
Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. Barbera brought the             
comic gags and skilled drawing, while Hanna brought warmth and a keen sense of           
timing. Maltin wrote:                                                                   
"This writing-directing team may hold a record for producing consistently               
superior cartoons using the same characters year after year - without a break or         
change in routine."                                                                     
Hanna, who died in 2001, once said he was never a good artist but his partner           
could "capture mood and expression in a quick sketch better than anyone I've             
ever known."                                                                             
After Hanna's death, Barbera remained active as an executive producer for Warner         
Bros. Animation on direct-to-video cartoon features as well as television series         
such as What's New, Scooby-Doo? and Tom and Jerry Tales. In the Tom and Jerry           
cartoon "The Mansion Cat" from 2001, Barbera was the houseowner's voice actor.           
He also wrote, co-storyboarded, co-directed and co-produced the theatrical Tom           
and Jerry short The KarateGuard in 2005, thus returning to his and Hanna's first         
successful cartoon format. His final animated project was the direct-to-video           
feature Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, which premiered on DVD in the U.S. on         
October 2, 2007.                                                                         
Barbera died at the age of 95 of natural causes at his home in Studio City, Los         
Angeles on December 18, 2006, ending a seventy-year career in animation. His             
wife Sheila was at his side when he died, and three children by a previous               
marriage also survived him: Jayne (who worked for Hanna-Barbera), Neal and Lynn.         
Cartoon Network put up a bumper in late December 2006 that showed Barbera in a           
black marker portrait. In the next scene, the words "We'll miss you" were               
written above the Cartoon Network logo. Adult Swim had a banner that said Joseph         
Barbera 1911-2006 with the banner fading out without to [adult swim] logo,               
something they only do when a person they consider important passes away and             
something they'd only done twice before; for Harry Goz in 2003 and Sam Loeb in