On May 20, 2015, David Letterman ended his time hosting
Tex Avery is the father of animation when it comes to major studios. He created characters for Warner Bros and MGM during the Golden Age of Hollywood animation. Here are 15 facts about the man behind the bunny:
Avery was known for creating Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Droopy Dog, Chilly Willy, and most famously Bugs Bunny
Actual name was Frederick Bean Avery
Dropped out of art school in Chicago
On a trip to California with some friends, Tex decided Cali was the place for him and stayed behind when his friends went back home to Texas. He made a living by day doing dock work and slept on the beach at night.
Bugs’ signature phrase, “What’s up, Doc?” was a saying at Tex’s high school
His first animation job was at Walter Lantz Studios (1931-1935) where he worked on his first cartoon, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Avery lost his left eye when someone threw a thumbtack at the studio, he had to have the eye removed and replaced with a fake one
The idea that cartoons could do whatever they wanted, no matter how impractical, because they were cartoons was born from Avery. He believed cartoons could do and say whatever they want because they were animated. Because censorship boards weren’t concerned with cartoons, Avery could do whatever he wanted with the toons.
Though he created Bugs, he only directed 4 of his cartoons before leaving Warner Bros after a dispute. The cartoons directed were: “A Wild Hare”, “Tortoise Beats Hare”, “All This and Rabbit Stew”, and “The Heckling Hare”.
Avery’s time at MGM is known as the turning point in his animation career. His characters reached peak levels of insanity and began to tilt more towards cartoons for adults with the birth of “Red Hot Riding Hood”.
Droopy Dog, the one cartoon voiced primarily by Avery, premiered in 1943 around the same time “Red Hot Riding Hood” premiered
His last two original cartoons, completed in 1953, were “Deputy Droopy” and “Cellbound” which were released in 1955
His final contributions to the animated world came in the 60s and 70s with Raid commercials and the controversial mascot of Frito-Lay, The Frito Bandito
Tex Avery died August 26, 1980 of liver cancer and is buried in Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills Cemetary