When Joe Barbera died at 95 earlier this week — you know, of Hanna-him and yabba-dabba-do — you probably thought of him, because he worked in TV
, as an L.A.
guy. Well, yes, that’s where he died. But he grew up in Flatbush and started his career as an animator first at soon-defunct Van Beuren Studio in Manhattan and then Terrytoon in New Rochelle before moving west to work for MGM
in 1938. But more than just co-creating Tom and Jerry, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, the Flintstones, and so many others, he also changed Los Angeles in another way. In his 1994 memoir, My Life in ‘Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock
, he argued that he introduced the Rob Roy cocktail to the West. “[It’s] essentially a Manhattan made with scotch instead of Bourbon,” he explains in his book, “and my destiny was to transport this drink to the West Coast, where, before my arrival, it had been unknown.” So multitalented! —Wren Abbott
Joseph Barbera, Half of Cartoon Duo, Dies at 95 [NYT]