Bob Clampett

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Full Name:

Bob Clampett

Occupation / Title:

Date of birth:

08/05/1913

Date of death:

04/05/1984

Biography


By 12, Clampett had cartoons published by the Los Angeles Examiner. Later his father signed a contract to allow him to work after school with the Examiner alongside great cartoonists like Robert Day, Webb Smith, and Charles Phillipi. After graduating high school in 1931, Clampett found a job as an assistant animator at Harman-Ising Productions where he helped to animate the first Merrie Meoldies cartoon Lady, Play Your Mandolin(1931). In 1933, Clampett was promoted to a full animator under Leon Schlesinger.

In 1935, Clampett would create the lovable Porky Pig character that would be cast in the Looney Tunes cartoon series. The same year, he created Buddy, a new character for Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes that would first be featured in Buddy of the Legion (1935). Also in 1935, Clampett began working with Tex Avery to write and animate cartoons. He animated Daffy Duck in his first cartoon Porky’s Duck Hunt (1937). With the retirement of Ub Iwerks, Clampett was made a director in May of 1937. Over the next four years he worked on Porky Pig shorts.

His cartoon The Lone Stranger and Porky (1939) won the Grand Shorts Award. When Tex Avery was fired in 1941, Clampett was placed in charge of the animators from Avery’s unit. He created the not-so innocent Tweety that was directly inspired by Clampett’s baby pictures. The Tweety series won him great acclaim.  During the war, he directed service training videos for the military. He left Warner Bros. in 1945 and worked as creative head of the story department for Columbia Pictures. He switched mediums to work with puppets in the highly successful Time For Beany (1949-1955) that was syndicated all over the country. In 1959, the Beany and Cecil characters made the jump to cartoons, in Beany & Cecil Meet Billy The Squid  (1959). The characters starred in their own half-hour cartoons, running from January 1962 to December 1976 on ABC. He died in Detriot, Michigan, of a heart attack in 1984 at the age of 70.        

Family and early life


Clampett was born in San Diego, California but grew up in Hollywood next door to Charlie and Syd Chaplin. His location gave him the opportunity to witness many films being shot in and around town. He began to love movies and cartoons and was soon putting on puppet shows for neighborhood kids. Gladys D. Merrick, Clampett’s high school art teacher, explains “I’d leave the room for a minute and everyone would be around his desk looking at the cartoons he was doing”.

Career outline


Bob Clampett was a popular animator known for his comedic cartoons with Warner Bros. and his own characters Beany and Cecil. 

Honors and awards


Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1988
Three Emmy Awards for <i>Time For Beany</i>

References:


  • Lenburg, Jeff. Who’s Who in Animated Cartoons. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2006.


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