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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 08:49 GMT
Cartoon legend Barbera dies at 95
Joseph Barbera received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in LA (Sept 1996)
Hanna and Barbera won seven Academy Awards for Tom and Jerry
Joseph Barbera, one half of the team behind such cartoon classics as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo and Huckleberry Hound, has died, aged 95.

He died of natural causes at home with his wife, Sheila, at his side.

With William Hanna, Barbera founded Hanna-Barbera in the 1950s, after the pair had earlier worked on the Tom and Jerry cartoons at MGM studios.

"Joe will live on through his work," said Warner Brothers chairman and chief executive Barry Meyer.

"The characters he created with his late partner, William Hanna, are not only animated superstars but also a very beloved part of American pop culture," Mr Meyer said.

Cat and mouse collaboration

Barbera grew up in Brooklyn, New York and started to pursue a career in banking.

But his amateur sketches soon became the raw material for cartoons which were published in Collier's magazine, a breakthrough which then took him into animation.

Rest in peace Joseph
Ali Zaid, Sana'a, Yemen

He met Hanna at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio, where they collaborated on a 1937 cartoon called Puss Gets the Boot, which led to the creation of cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry.

Their 17-year partnership on the Tom and Jerry series resulted in seven Academy Awards and 14 nominations in total.

Extended format

The pair left MGM and formed Hanna-Barbera Studios in 1957, where they created numerous classic characters, including The Jetsons and The Flintstones.

Hanna-Barbera extended cartoons beyond the traditional six-minute slots.

Scooby-Doo lunchbox
Scooby-Doo became famous for his love of snacks

The Flintstones, featuring two modern-minded couples living in the stone age, was the first animated series to be broadcast on prime-time television.

In the decades that followed, Hanna-Barbera produced 300 cartoon series, with more than 3,000 half-hour shows.

Scooby-Doo, a Great Dane who leads a group of teenagers in ghost-hunting adventures, made his debut in 1969 and the series ran for 17 years, a record for a TV animated series.

"They were able to bring top quality cartoon shows to television," said actor Casey Kasem, the voice of Shaggy, Scooby-Doo's unkempt sidekick.

"When they came along and they did it, they made it profitable for people who were big investors," he told the BBC.

"It's a legacy that he has that has touched people around the world with what I call magic, they just kept producing one great show after another."

Following Hanna's death in 2001, Joseph Barbera remained active as an executive producer for Warner Brothers Animation on TV series such as What's New, Scooby-Doo? and Tom and Jerry Tales.

Who is your favourite Hanna-Barbera cartoon character?
Scooby Doo
The Flintstones
Tom and Jerry
Top Cat
16751 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Interview with Casey Kasem, voice of Scooby-Doo's Shaggy

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