Friday, August 18, 2006

1956: The MGM cartoon department ... plus one

The MGM cartoon department, 1956, by Ben Shenkman. Front row, left to right: Herman Cohen, Carlo Vinci, George Bannon, Joe Finck, Jerry, Tom, Scott Bradley. Second row, left to right: Ken Southworth, Hal Elias, Bill Kirk, Bob Gentle, Jack Carr, Lovell Norman, Greg Watson, Ben Shenkman, Ken Muse, Irv Spence, Lew Marshall, O. B. Barkley. Back row, left to right: "Nate", Mike Lah, "Max" Maxwell, Dick Bickenbach, Frank Paiker, Joe Barbera, Bill Hanna, Ed Benedict, "Lefty" Callahan, Art Goeble, Howard Hansen, Bill Schipek, and ... ... a young office boy named Jack Nicholson, better known later in his career as an actor. (Jack is in the upper right-hand corner, with crewcut. The story goes that Mr. Nicholson was offered a job as an in-betweener at MGM, but passed. Turned out to be a smart career move.)


Anonymous said...

A few years ago at the annual Academy Awards ceremony Bill Hanna & Joe Barbera were given an Oscar for lifetime achievement. Jack Nicholson, in dark sunglasses and tux was in his usual spot in the front row. Before the show began, Joe came up behind Nicholson and whispered in his ear, "Hey Jackie, go get me a Coke!" Nicholson turned around and broke out in his famous grin" Anything you say, Mister Barbera.."

Anonymous said...

While my grandfather Carlo Vinci was at Hanna Barbera, while Jack Nicholson was handing out pencils and paper would tell everyone how famous he was gonna be someday.

Anonymous said...

The "O. B." in O. B. Barkley does not stand for anything, just simple O. B. O. B. Barkley lived to be in his late 50's. The reason for his unusual name, is the common practice among western and the southern families.

Anonymous said...

Here is the vital statistics for O. B. Barkley
Born on December 29, 1917 (some sources say 1915 and 1918) in Rural Route Royse City, in Collin County in Texas.
He went Home to be with the Lord on exactly one week before Christmas Day in 1976. He was 58. I think he's never married and he is a (possibly) lifelong bachelor.

Anonymous said...

O.B. Barkley was the son of William Bertrom and Beulah Jane (Emerson) Barkley.

He has one sister and four brothers:
Carl Jack Barkley
Roselee (Barkley) Moore (sister)
Isaac Clarence Barkley
Lee Roy Barkley
Harrison T. Barkley.

Dan Bessie said...

Recalling my year apprenticing as an inbetweener at MGM (1956), I well remember the day that O.B. Barkley played an outrageous gag on animator Herman Cohen. Using two voices — that of an elderly matron and another of her maid — O.B., phoning from another room, had Herman almost having kittens as the "matron" and her "maid" went back and forth during several phone calls, trying to determine if they could get a better price from Herman for the clubs. (The matron was supposed to be buying them for her husband.) All through the encounter, which went on for a least an hour, the rest of the animation department (which was in on the gag) stood around trying to contain their laughter.

Dan Bessie

Anonymous said...

O.B. Barkley was my uncle. I am one of his six nephews and nieces whose father was H.T. Barkley. I would be interested in anyone who could give me more information about uncle O.B. I know he was an artist. I once visited a cabin he had out near 29 Palms. I would love to know more about his career and life.

I believe the OB stood for Oscar Betrom altho i ended up Jack Berton. The family used initials: Uncle OB Uncle HT Uncle Lee and

Jack Barkley
Glendale, Arizona

Anonymous said...

According to the Federal Censuses, California Death Certificate, U. S. Army records, that did not show Oscar Bertrom Barkley's full name in any form and I think O. B. appears in the birth certificate in Texas.

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