Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Frederick B. Avery

On this day, thirty-six years ago:

August 26, 1980 - Director Tex Avery dies after collapsing in the parking lot of Hanna-Barbera.

Two weeks before he was asked by a friend why he was working in Hanna & Barbera. Tex laughed:" Hey, Don’t you know? this is where all the elephants come to die!"

-- Tom Sito

You look around the internet, you find that Avery passed away from liver cancer, or lung cancer or ... something. And maybe he died at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Burbank and not Hanna-Barbera.

But two things are clear: He died on this date, and he had a large impact on American animation.

Tex was a key player at Leon Schlesinger's studio, helping to mold Bugs, Elmer and the rest into the characters we know today.

Tex turned out dozens and dozens of classic shorts at M-G-M through the 1940s "Red Hot Riding Hood" is the godmother of Jessica Rabbit. The Raid termites, the (politically incorrect Frito Bandito, thos were his.

Tex created commercials during the Eisenhower fifties. The Raid termites, the (politically incorrect) Frito Bandito, those were his.

And he died after a two-year stint at Hanna-Barbera, the studio where many veteran animation hands, not cut to the mold that Disney required, went to work.

"I was as ignorant of his genius as I suppose Michelangelo's apprentices were oblivious to the fact that they, too, were working with a genius."

-- Chuck Jones


Site Meter