Full Name:

Ben Hardaway

Occupation / Title:

, ,

Date of birth:


Date of death:



Missouri, USA


Ben Hardaway was an American storyboard artist, voice actor, animator and gagman during the Golden Age of American animation. Supplying the voice of Woody Woodpecker in many cartoon shorts, Hardaway was the man who gave “Bugs Bunny” his iconic name. 

Career outline

Hardaway started his career working for the Kansas City Film Ad Service and later was recruited to work at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Ub Iwerks Studio. Later on, Ben was hired by Leon Schlesinger as a part of Friz Freleng’s unit, and eventually promoted to director for the Buddy animated series. Working as a storyboard artist, and gagman, Hardaway was known for his sense of humour and began working in feature film animations in the late 30’s. 

While working at Schlesinger and later on Warner Bros. studio, Hardaway began working more as a writer, creating storyboards and co-directed Looney Tunes as well as some of the Merrie Melodies shorts. In 1938, the first animated film featuring a rabbit was created in Porky’s Hare Hunt, and the unnamed rabbit eventually got his name after Hardaway wrote Bugs on the rabbit’s model sheet. 

After Freleng returned to Warner Bros., Hardaway was demoted which lead him to leave for Walter Lantz Productions in 1940, where he had a hand in creating the iconic character of Woody Woodpecker. Co-writing many of Woody’s stories, Hardaway supplied Woody’s voice for 9 years, after Mel Blanc provided the voice for the first three of Woody Woodpecker’s shorts. 


Sigall, Martha (2005). “The Boys of Termite Terrace”. Living Life Inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of Animation.University Press of MississippiISBN 9781578067497.

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