Avery, Frederick Bean (Tex)
Born: Feb 26, 1908 AD
Died: 1980 AD, at 72 years of age.
1908 - Born on the 26th of February in Taylor, Texas. American animator, cartoonist, and director, famous for producing animated cartoons during the Golden Age of Hollywood. He did his most significant work for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, creating the characters of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Droopy, Screwball Squirrel, and developing Porky Pig and Chilly Willy and more, into regular cartoon characters.
1935 - He worked at Warner Brothers from, where he was credited with creating Daffy Duck and with developing Bugs Bunny into a wacky star. (Bugs was then taken even further by Chuck Jones and other directors).
1941 - Avery's tenure at the Schlesinger studio ended, when he and the producer quarreled over the ending to The Heckling Hare.
- An enraged Avery promptly quit the studio, leaving three cartoons he started on but did not complete. They were Crazy Cruise, The Cagey Canary and Aloha Hooey. Bob Clampett picked up where Avery left off, and completed the three cartoons. He left for MGM.
1942 - Avery was in the employment of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, working in their cartoon division under the supervision of Fred Quimby. Avery felt that Schlesinger had stifled him; at MGM, Avery's creativity reached its peak.
- His cartoons became known for their sheer lunacy, breakneck pace, and a penchant for playing with the medium of animation and film in general that few other directors dared to approach.
- MGM also offered larger budgets and a higher quality level than the Warners films. These changes were evident in Avery's first MGM short, The Blitz Wolf, an Adolf Hitler parody which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).
1943 - Avery's most famous MGM character debuted Dumbhounded. Droopy Dog (originally "Happy Hound") was a calm, little, slow-moving and slow-talking dog who still won out in the end.
- He also created a series of racy and risqué cartoons, Red Hot Riding Hood, featuring a sexy female star who never had a set name, but who influenced the minds of young boys - and future animators - worldwide.
- Other Avery characters at MGM included Screwball "Screwy" Squirrel and the Of Mice and Men-inspired duo of George and Junior.
1950-1953 - Avery took a year sabbatical from MGM, during which time Dick Lundy, recently arrived from the Walter Lantz studio, took over his unit and worked on the Droopy cartoons.
- Avery returned to MGM in October and began working again. Avery's last two original cartoons for MGM were Deputy Droopy and Cellbound, completed and released. Like many of his later cartoons, they were co-directed by Avery unit animator Michael Lah.
- A burnt-out Avery left MGM to return to the Walter Lantz studio.
1954-1955 - Avery's return to the Walter Lantz studio did not last long. He directed four cartoons: the one-shots Crazy Mixed-Up Pup and Shh-h-h-h-h, and I'm Cold and The Legend of Rockabye Point, in which he defined the character of Chilly Willy the penguin.
- Although The Legend of Rockabye Point and Crazy Mixed-up Pup were nominated for Academy Awards, Avery left Lantz over a salary dispute, effectively ending his career in theatrical animation.
1960-1970 - He turned to animated television commercials, most notably the Raid commercials, ("Oh no! RAID! BOOM!") and the creation of Frito-Lay's controversial mascot, the Frito Bandito.
- Avery also produced ads for fruit drinks starring the Warners Bros. characters he'd once helped create during his Termite Terrace days.
- His final employer was Hanna-Barbera Productions, where he wrote gags for Saturday morning cartoons such as the Droopy-esque Kwicky Koala.
Page last updated: 1:14pm, 25th Jul '07