Joseph Barbera

Joseph Barbera was born 1911 in the Little Italy section of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, then raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn. His cartoon and story ability developed early on when he was employed at the Van Beuren Studio, where he specialized in cartoon development (gags). After a brief stay at Terrytoons after Van Beuren Studio closed, Barbera moved west after he heard MGM was building an animation studio. There, he met William Hanna. They quickly netted accolades for their Tom and Jerry work. Barbera was also instrumental toward he and Hanna’s success with the melding of animated characters with live action. This is seen in “Anchors Aweigh” (Gene Kelly) and “Dangerous When Wet,” (Esther Williams), where top-name actors were paired with top-name cartoon stars Tom and Jerry. 

In 1957, after beginning their own studio, story and character development prevailed for the two with such memorable shows as the “Huckleberry Hound Show” and “Scooby-Doo.”(TV’s longest-running animated series). During the 1960s , and with Emmy awards under their belts for their work, Hanna-Barbera also created systems and technologies of animation production, such as model sheets and offshore production that is still used in animation today. Additionally, Hanna and Barbera also created the first prime-time animated sitcom, which was “The Flintstones.” Other animated efforts Barbera co-created with Hanna was “Charlotte’s Web,” (1973), “Heidi’s Song” (1982), and the “Smurfs” which won Emmys in 1982-83 and a Humanities Award for Best Animated Program in 1987.