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 Chuck Jones  (1912 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: comic strip, animation, illustration

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Charles Jones is primarily known as Chuck Jones

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Ad Code: 3
Chuck Jones
from Auction House Records.
Pepe Le Pew Original
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
"A small child once said to me. 'You don't draw Bugs Bunny, you draw pictures of Bugs Bunny.'
-Chuck Jones

Animation artist Chuck Jones helped bring to life many characters during the Golden Age of animation, including some of Warner Bros. most famous Looney Tunes characters, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. The list of characters he created himself goes on to Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew, and many others.

Born in 1912 in Spokane, Washington, Jones grew up in Hollywood where he witnessed the talents of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and worked occasionally as a child extra in Mac Sennett comedies. He graduated from Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, (now California Institute of the Arts), and began drawing pencil portraits for a dollar a piece on Olvera Street. In 1932, he got his first job in the fledgling animation industry as a cel washer for former Disney animator, Ubbe Iwerks. It was at Iwerks Productions that he met Dorothy Webster, whom he married in 1932. He joined the Leon Schlesinger Studio, later sold to Warner Bros., as an animator in 1936.

In 1937, Jones' daughter, Linda, was born, and in 1938, at age 25, he directed his first animated film, 'The Night Watchman'. He remained at Warner Bros animation until it closed in 1962, aside from a brief stint with Disney Studios in 1955. At Warner, he worked with Tex Avery and Bob Clampett, among others. During his years there, sometimes called the 'Golden Age of Warner Bros animation', some of the most enduring cartoons ever made were produced, most of them still recognized today.

Jones went on to head the animation division at MGM Studios, creating new episodes for 'Tom and Jerry' cartoon series and others, and directing 'Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas'.

After the death of his first wife, Jones married Marian Dern. In the late 1970s Jones and his daughter, Linda, began an art business featuring images from Jones' cartoons.

In 1992, 'What's Up Doc?' became the first animated film to be inducted into the National Film Registry for being "among the most culturally, historically or aesthetically significant films of our time". His art has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, including a one-man film retrospective at MoMa in New York City.

Jones died on February 22, 2002.

Sources include:
Matt Yorston who provided death date using the artist's obituary.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Spokane, WA in 1912.  "Chuck" Jones came to Hollywood with his parents and soon was a child actor in Mack Sennett comedies. While studying at the Chouinard Art School, he earned his living drawing pencil portraits on Olvera Street.  In 1932 he began his animation career as a cel washer for Ubbe Iwerks at the Disney Studio.  He later worked for Schlesinger Studios, Warner Bros, and in 1962 created his own animated film company.  He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1996.  Jones died in Corona del Mar, CA on Feb. 22, 2002.  Member: Directors Guild of America. 
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
SF Chronicle, 2-23-2002 (obit).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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