Jerry Beck

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Jerry Beck

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Born on February 9, 1955, Jerry Beck has become one of the most knowledgeable and well-rounded animation historians ever known. His dreams of becoming a cartoonist rooted from his early childhood with cartoons such as Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Despite the fact that animators were not in demand by the time he graduated from high school, he still found a career in the field that he loved as an animation scholar. Working as an associate alongside Leonard Maltin, an experienced animation researcher, they published Maltin’s book, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons in 1980.

From then on, Beck would take part in various cartoon research projects, both solo and with partners such as Will Friedwald. Many of his findings on the subject are in the form of books such as The 50 Greatest Cartoons and Warner Bros. Animation Art, but he has also created television specials and has even taught several college courses on the history of cartoons, as well. In addition to being an animation historian, he is also an animation producer, and has been, and is working on creating cartoons.

Family and early life

Jerry Beck married Marea Boylan on June 15, 2003.

Career outline

1977: Worked with Leonard Maltin on Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons 1978: Worked as salesman with the MGM/UA film library at United Artists

1981: Worked with Will Friedwald to write a filmography called The Warner Bros. Cartoons 1989: Worked again with Will Friedwald to publish Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons 1989: Teamed with Carl Macek to create the Japanese animation importing company, Streamline Pictures

1991: Published I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat: 50 Years of Sylvester and Tweety 1992: Lectured “Animation: The State of the Art” course at the University of California, Los Angeles 1994: Conducted “The History of the Hollywood Cartoon” seminars at the American Film Institute 1994: Published The 50 Greatest Cartoons 1994: Executive Producer for The Baby Huey Show 1995: Lectured “The History of Animation” course at New York University  1996: Lectured a “Promotion for Animation” course at the School of Visual Arts in NYC 1997: Co-authored Warner Bros. Animation Art with Will Friedwald 1997: Created Cartoon Research Co. 1999: Produced the 65-episode series, Totally Tooned In for Columbia Tri-Star International Television 1999: Co-created, co-produced, and co-wrote thirteen Karen & Kirby interstitials 1999: Edited Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide and Family Film Guide

2002: Worked as writer/producer for cartoon company Rubberbug Animation 2003: Published Outlaw Animation 2003: Published Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide 2004: General Editor for the book Animation Art 2005: Published The Animated Movie Guide 2005: Published Pink Panther: The Ultimate Visual Guide

Personal style

In his cartoons, Jerry Beck keeps his character designs clean and simple while at the same time giving them a diverse emotion palate to use in whatever situation they may be in. Beck’s writing style is short and sweet; it does not drone with superfluous details. Rather, it gets to the point with a flavorful amount of text.


Beck’s largest influences for his career come from his best friend and fellow animation researcher, Leonard Maltin and just about any Warner Bros. cartoon.




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