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2008-02-26

Tex Avery - 100th Birthday


Fredrick Bean "Tex" Avery was born in Taylor, Texas, USA, precisely a 100 years ago (26 Feb.1908). He was an American animator, cartoonist, and director, famous for producing animated cartoons during The Golden Age of Hollywood animation.

Tex was interested in animation from an early age. He started drawing comic strips in high school, and spent a summer studying art at the Chicago Art Institute. Avery moved to California in the early thirties and entered the animation field as a painter for Walter Lantz. Under Lantz, he learned the entire animation process and soon became a storyboard artist. In 1935, Tex went to work at Warner Bros. where he created Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and created the personality of Bugs Bunny. From 1936 to 1941 he worked as supervisor - another word for cartoon director - of some 60 titles in the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes series for Leon Schlesinger at Warner's. A disagreement with Leon Schlesinger led Tex to quit Warner Bros in 1941.

So he was hired by MGM producer Fred Quimby and worked until 1954 as director of cartoons at MGM. He was responsible for practically every MGM Cartoon that did not feature Tom and Jerry. Unlike Disney, Tex Avery's cartoons had their own personality.

Among the many cartoon characters Avery created are Daffy Duck, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel and Chilly Willy. Tex Avery is also credited with creating the basic personality of Bugs Bunny. He was the one who coined the phrase "What's up, Doc?"

His influence was found in almost all of the animated cartoon series by various studios in the 1940s and 1950s.

Tex did not concentrate on creating lasting characters, but on slapstick gags and humorous situations.
In 1954, Tex left MGM right before the studio stopped making theatrical shorts. He re-joined Walter Lantz to make only four cartoons, and making popular the Chilly Willy character. He then joined the world of TV commercials where the Raid bug spray ads and Frito Bandito where among his creations.

Tex Avery was a genius. His cartoon style of slapstick gags and hilarious situations are still being imitated today, over forty years after they were created.

Tex Avery died on 26 August, 1980

Tex Avery in Wikipedia

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