Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and The Flintstones, has died aged 95.
Barbera died on Monday of natural causes at his Los Angeles home with his wife, Sheila, at his side, Warner Brothers said.
With his longtime partner, Bill Hanna, Barbera first found success creating the highly successful Tom and Jerry cartoons. The antics of the battling cat and mouse went on to win seven Academy Awards, more than any other series with the same characters.
The partners, who had first teamed up while working at MGM in the 1930s, went on to a new realm of success in the 1960s with a witty series of animated TV comedies, including The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo and Huckleberry Hound and Friends.
Their strengths went together perfectly, Barbera brought the comic gags and skilled drawing, while Hanna, who died in 2001, brought warmth and a keen sense of timing.
Critic Leonard Maltin wrote in his book Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons: "This writing-directing team may hold a record for producing consistently superior cartoons using the same characters year after year – without a break or change in routine.
Warner Bros chairman and CEO Barry Meyer said: "From the Stone Age to the Space Age and from prime time to Saturday mornings, syndication and cable, the characters he created with his late partner, William Hanna, are not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture. Joe will live on through his work."