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Tex Avery

Died when: 72 years 182 days
Star Sign: Pisces

Frederick Bean "Tex" Avery (February 26, 1908 – August 26, 1980) was an American animator, director, cartoonist and voice actor, known for producing and directing animated cartoons during the golden age of American animation. His most significant work was for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, where he was crucial in the creation and evolution of famous animated characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, George and Junior, and Chilly Willy. Gary Morris described Avery's innovative approach: Above all, [Avery] steered the Warner Bros. house style away from Disney-esque sentimentality and made cartoons that appealed equally to adults, who appreciated Avery's speed, sarcasm, and irony, and to kids, who liked the nonstop action. Disney's "cute and cuddly" creatures, under Avery's guidance, were transformed into unflappable wits like Bugs Bunny, endearing buffoons like Porky Pig, or dazzling crazies like Daffy Duck. Even the classic fairy tale, a market that Disney had cornered, was appropriated by Avery, who made innocent heroines like Red Riding Hood into sexy jazz babes, more than a match for any Wolf. Avery also endeared himself to intellectuals by constantly breaking through the artifice of the cartoon, having characters leap out of the end credits, loudly object to the plot of the cartoon they were starring in, or speak directly to the audience. Avery's style of directing encouraged animators to stretch the boundaries of the medium to do things in a cartoon that could not be done in the world of live-action film. An often-quoted line about Avery's cartoons was, "In a cartoon you can do anything." He also performed a great deal of voice work in his cartoons, usually throwaway bits (e.g. the Santa Claus seen briefly in Who Killed Who?); Avery also voiced Junior from George and Junior, as well as occasionally filling in for Bill Thompson as Droopy.
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