Chuck Jones, animator, dies at 89

The list of characters he created himself included Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian, Pepe le Pew, Michigan J. Frog and many others.

Chuck Jones, animator, dies at 89
"Bugs Bunny"
won Oscars,
made 300 films
in 60-year career
Image: Jones
Chuck Jones at the Warner Bros. Studio Store in New York, October 1993


LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 22

Chuck Jones, the Oscar-winning animator who helped bring Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck to life and personally created Wile E. Coyote and his fruitless hunt for the Road Runner, died Friday of congestive heart failure at age 89, his family said. His wife of 20 years, Marian, was at his side when he died at their home in the Southern California town of Corona del Mar.

HE RANKED AMONG Hollywood'?s greatest film animators and his achievements in the bop, bam and boom world of film cartoons often was compared to Walt Disney's.

Jones made more than 300 animated films, winning three Oscars as a director. He was presented in 1996 with an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement.

During the 1930s and 1940s - affectionately called the Golden Age of animation - Jones helped bring to life many of Warner Bros. most famous characters in the so-called Looney Tunes series, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig.

The list of characters he created himself included Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian, Pepe le Pew, Michigan J. Frog and many others.


He also produced, directed and wrote the screenplays for "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a television classic, and the feature-length film "The Phantom Tollbooth."

Born Sept. 21, 1912, in Spokane, Wash., Jones grew up in Hollywood, where he worked occasionally as a child extra in silent-film comedies. After attending art school, Jones landed his first job in animation working for a former Disney animator, Ubbe Iwerks.

In 1936, Jones became an animator for the Leon Schlesinger Studio, which later was sold to Warner Bros, and in 1938 directed his first film, ?The Night Watchman.? Heading his own unit, Jones remained at the Warner Bros. animation department until it closed in 1962.


During that time, he and several other directors developed such beloved characters as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. He moved to MGM Studios, where he created new episodes from the "Tom and Jerry" cartoon series. While there, Jones directed the Academy Award-winning film, "The Dot and the Line."

Jones established his own production company, Chuck Jones Enterprises, in 1962 and produced nine half-hour animation films for television. In the late 1970s, Jones and daughter Linda Jones Clough pioneered a limited-edition art business selling images created by Jones depicting scenes from his most-enduring cartoons. One of those films was the Wagnerian mini-epic, "What's Opera, Doc?"

Jones is survived by his wife, Marian; his daughter Linda (by his first wife, Dorothy Webster); a brother; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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