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Robert Emerson "Bob" Clampett (May 8, 1913 - May 2, 1984) was an American director, producer, animator, and puppeteer, best known for his work with both of Warner Bros.' cartoon series, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
Robert Emerson Clampett was born in San Diego, California, to Joan and Robert Clampett. When he was a toddler, he and his family moved to Hollywood, where they lived next door to actor Charlie Chaplin and his brother Syd. While growing up in Hollywood, Bob was interested in and influenced by actors Douglas Fairbanks, Lon Chaney, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. At the ages of four and five, Bob showed extraordinary drawing talent which led to him wanting to do art, but decided to step up to cartooning and make comic strips. Later on, Bob showed an interest in animation, filmmaking and puppetry. He also began making his own short films subjects in his garage.
At the age of twelve, Bob had his cartoons published by the Los Angeles Times including a full-page comic about the nocturnal adventures of a pussycat that was published in color in the Sunday edition. King Features Syndicate saw this and offered him a contract to start at seventy-five dollars a week when he finished high school. However, when Bob saw animation for the first time, he decided to become an animator and work for Warner Bros cartoons where he was paid ten dollars a week.
Bob attended both Glendale High School and Hoover High School in Glendale, California, but dropped out of Hoover a few months short of graduating. One of his early jobs was working at a doll factory that was run by his aunt, Charlotte Clark. Bob helped design the first Mickey Mouse doll, due to the rising popularity of the character, but he was unable to find a drawing of the character so he decided to go to a movie theater and sketch some drawings of Mickey from what he saw.
After Looney Tunes
After Looney Tunes, he directed several cartoons including one at Screen Gems titled "It's a Grand Old Nag" starring Charlie Horse. Two years later, he also created the show Time for Beany (which was parodied in a Pinky and the Brain short), and its animated spin-off Beany and Cecil.
In his later years, Bob Clampett toured college campuses and animation festivals as a lecturer on the history of animation.
Clampett died of a heart attack in Detroit, Michigan, six days before his 71st birthday, while touring the country to promote the home video release of Beany & Cecil cartoons.
Despite his legacy, Bob has been savaged by his coworkers at Warner Brothers, many of whom called him a "shameless self-promoter who provoked the wrath of [his] former [coworkers in later years] for allegedly claiming credit for ideas which were not [his]." Chuck Jones particularly disliked him, and therefore made no mention of him in his 1979 compilation-film The Bugs Bunny Road-Runner Movie, or his biography Chuck Amuck. In addition, voice-actor Mel Blanc accused Bob of being an "egotist who took credit for everything." Some of this antipathy may have been connected to Bob's "golden boy" status at the studio (his mother was said to be a close friend of producer Leon Schlesinger), which allowed him to ignore rules that everyone else was expected to follow. He also mentioned many things that were not true, in Bugs Bunny Superstar.
- Main article: List of cartoons supervised by Bob Clampett
- ↑ https://www.cartoonbrew.com/brewtv/grandoldnag-8686.html
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20090207012049/http://www.toontracker.com/beanytoon/beanytoons.htm
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 http://likelylooneymostlymerrie.blogspot.com/2017/04/413-corny-concerto-1943.html
- ↑ https://twitter.com/daffyduckaroo/status/1235362021052424198