Posted on Fri, Oct. 22, 2010 10:12 PMBuzz Up Share Email Print
Alexander Anderson Jr., creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle,' dies at 90
Alexander Anderson Jr., recognized as the creator of the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" cartoon, died Friday at a home in Carmel, Calif. He was 90.
Anderson, who attended the University of California, Berkeley, and the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, was a native of Berkeley. He moved to Pebble Beach in 1968. The last four years, his health had declined, his wife Patricia said Friday. They were married for 36 years.
Anderson came from a family of creative artists and in 1938 started working in animation with his uncle Paul Terry in New York at Terrytoons, the studio that created "Mighty Mouse."
During World War II, Anderson was a U.S. Navy spy, his wife said, and in 1946, he returned to Terrytoons to work full time.
Two years later, he pitched the idea to create cartoon characters for television to his uncle.
At the time, the movie studios that Terrytoons produced for dominated the entertainment market and working with television wasn't in their plans. Anderson was told to branch out on his own, according to his son Terry.
Anderson returned to Berkeley where he and childhood friend Jay Ward began production. Ward ran the business side and Anderson handled the artistic and creative work.
Anderson's work included "Crusader Rabbit," a cartoon series sold to NBC with a 195 episodes. It was the first created specifically for television.
Another cartoon of his was "Dudley-Do-Right," a Canadian Mountie inspired by Nelson Eddy's performance in the film "Rose Marie."
Most notably, Anderson is credited with creating Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his pal Bullwinkle, a moose.
In 1996, Anderson reached an out-of-court settlement with Jay Ward Productions over rights to Bullwinkle, Rocky and Dudley-Do-Right.
The terms recognized Anderson as the creator of the characters. He filed the lawsuit after discovering Ward was the sole holder of the copyrights.
Anderson's wife said the idea for Bullwinkle came to the cartoonist after he had a dream about a moose sitting in on a game of poker with him and friends. The moose adopted its name after a Berkeley car dealership with a slightly different spelling.
In addition to cartoons, Anderson worked for an ad agency, creating slogans for Berkeley Farms, Skippy Peanut Butter and Smucker's.