Animation Mogul. He received notoriety in the 20th century as an animator, director and producer in the American cartoon industry. Born to William John and Avice Joyce Denby Hanna, he was the third of seven children and the only boy. His father's employment caused the family to relocate often but finally settling in California in 1919. In 1922, while living in Watts, he joined Boys Scouts of America. He attended Compton High School from 1925 through 1928, where he played the saxophone in a dance band. His passion for music carried over into his career as he helped write songs for his cartoons, including the theme for "The Flintstones." Known as Bill, he became an Eagle Scout as a youth and remained active in Scouting throughout his life. As an adult, he served as a Scoutmaster and was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with their Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1985. On August 7, 1936, he married Violet Blanch Wogatzke; they had a marriage lasting 64 years and had two children, David William and Bonnie Jean. During the Great Depression, he gained on-the-job experience working with a few cartoon studios. In 1937, he and Joe Barbera joined the team of cartoonists at MGM Studios in Hollywood, where they were a team on a little cartoon about a cat and mouse duo called "Tom and Jerry." This led to him and Barbera creating over 100 "Tom and Jerry" cartoons and continued on as a producing team for the rest of their careers. In 1940, Hanna and Barbera jointly directed "Puss Gets the Boot," which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject. In 1957 Hanna and Barbera co-founded Hanna-Barbera Studios, the most successful television animation studio in the business, which they sold ten years later for 12 million dollars. The two men had their first television program, "The Ruff & Reddy Show," which debuted in 1957. That was followed in 1958 by "The Huckleberry Hound Show," about a powder-blue pooch who spoke and sung badly with a Southern drawl. This series received in 1960 the first Emmy Award for an animated series. A successful spinoff series "The Yogi Bear Show" was yielded from a supporting character in "The Huckleberry Hound Show." Yogi Bear was an animated Ed Norton-like character from the television series "The Honeymooners." Revisiting the "Honeymooners," Hanna-Barbera Studios broke new ground in 1960, creating the first prime time animated series, "The Flintstones." Set in the Stone Age, it followed the misadventures of Fred Flintstone, which was voiced by Alan Reed; his wife Wilma, which was voiced by Jean Vander Pyl; and their friends, Barney and Betty Rubble, which was voiced by Mel Blanc and Bea Benaderet. The show was a big success, ranking in the top 20 in its first season. It proved that adults could enjoy cartoons as well as children and opened the door for such future shows as "The Simpsons." "The Flintstones" has remained popular over the years and have spawned countless television specials and several feature films. After tackling the ancient past, Hanna and Barbera jumped to the future with "The Jetsons" in 1962. In the late 1960s, Hanna and Barbera scored another big hit with "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" Later they also produced the critically acclaimed "Charlotte's Web" in 1973. Some of their later projects included "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space" and "The Smurfs." In all, the pair is believed to have produced more than 3,000 half-hour shows and 150 television series, according to the "Los Angeles Times." Besides being nominated for awards, the Hanna–Barbera team received seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming in 1973 for "Last of the Curlews: The ABC Afterschool Special." The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gave Hanna and Barbera the prestigious Governors Award in 1988. He left an indelible mark, producing the cartoon shows that many generations have watched. At the age of 90, he died from esophageal cancer.
Bio by: Shock