Joseph Ward Cohen Jr.
September 20, 1920
|Died||October 12, 1989 69) (aged|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Occupation||Animator, TV producer, Writer|
|Employer||Warner Bros. Cartoons (1940-1963)|
|Television||The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show , George of the Jungle|
|Spouse(s)||Ramona Ward (1943 - his death)|
|Awards||Inkpot Award (1977)|
Joseph Ward Cohen Jr. (September 20, 1920 – October 12, 1989) also known as Jay Ward, was an American creator and producer of animated TV cartoon shows. He produced animated series based on such characters as Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman, Hoppity Hooper, George of the Jungle, Tom Slick, and Super Chicken. His company, Jay Ward Productions, designed the trademark characters for the Cap'n Crunch, Quisp, and Quake breakfast cereals and it made TV commercials for those products, and the company also made a Drive-in Theater intermission in 1963, which was later remastered in the 2010s. Ward produced the non-animated series Fractured Flickers that featured comedy redubbing of silent films.
Ward, the son of Joseph Ward Cohen (1890–1967) and Mercedes Juanita Troplong Ward (1892–1972), was born Joseph Ward Cohen Jr.and was raised in Berkeley, California; he earned his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his MBA from Harvard University. His first career was real estate. Even when his animation company was at the height of its success, he continued to own his own real estate firm as a "fallback" business.
Ward married Ramona "Billie" Ward in 1943; the couple had three children: Ron, Carey, and Tiffany.
Ward moved into the young mass medium of television with the help of his childhood friend, the animator Alex Anderson. Taking the character Crusader Rabbit to NBC-TV and the pioneering distributor of TV-programs, Jerry Fairbanks, they put together a pilot film, The Comic Strips of Television, featuring Crusader Rabbit, Hamhock Bones, a parody of Sherlock Holmes, and Dudley Do-Right, a bumbling Canadian Mountie.
NBC-TV and Fairbanks were both unimpressed with all but Crusader Rabbit. The animated series Crusader Rabbit premiered in 1950 and continued its initial run through 1952. Adopting a serialized, mock-melodrama format, it followed the adventures of Crusader and his dimwitted sidekick Rags the Tiger. It was, in form and content, much like the series that would later gain Ward enduring fame, Rocky and His Friends.
Ward and Anderson lost the rights to the Crusader Rabbit character in a legal fight with businessman Shull Bonsall, who had taken over the assets of the bankrupt Jerry Fairbanks company, and a new color Crusader Rabbit series under a different producer premiered in 1956. Ward then pursued an unsold series idea, The Frostbite Falls Revue. Taking place in a TV studio in the North Woods, the proposed series featured a cast of eccentrics such as newsman Oski Bear and two minor characters named Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose, described in the script treatment as a "French-Canadian moose."[ citation needed ]
Premiering on ABC in 1959 (and moving to NBC two years later), the series contained a mix of sophisticated and low-brow humor. Thanks to Ward's genial partner Bill Scott (who contributed to the scripts and voiced Bullwinkle and other characters) and their writers, puns were used often and shamelessly: in a "Fractured Fairy Tales" featuring Little Jack Horner, upon pulling out the plum, Jack announced, "Lord, what foods these morsels be!" Self-referential humor was another trademark: in one episode, the breathless announcer (William Conrad) gave away the villain's plans, prompting the villain to grab the announcer from offscreen, bind and gag him, and deposit him visibly within the scene. The show skewered popular culture, taking on such subjects as advertising, college sports, the Cold War, and TV itself. The hapless duo from Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, blundered into unlikely adventures much as Crusader and Rags had before them, pursued by "no-goodnik" spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, perennially under orders to "keel moose and squirrel".
In a running-joke tribute to Ward, many of his cartoon characters had the middle initial "J.", presumably standing for "Jay" (although this was never stated explicitly). The cartoonist Matt Groening later gave the middle initial "J." to many of his characters as a tribute to Jay Ward.
Ward fought many heated battles over content with the network and sponsor. The "Kirward Derby", a bowler hat that made everyone stupid and Bullwinkle a genius, was named (as a spoonerism) for Durward Kirby, sidekick of the 1950s and 1960s TV host Garry Moore and the co-host of Allen Funt's Candid Camera . When Kirby threatened to sue, Ward quipped, "Please do! We need the publicity!" : 181–182
An eccentric and proud of it, Ward was known for pulling an unusual publicity stunt that coincided with a national crisis. Ward bought an island in Minnesota near his home and dubbed it "Moosylvania," based upon the home of his Bullwinkle TV character. He and publicist Howard Brandy crossed the country in a van, gathering signatures on a petition for statehood for Moosylvania. They then visited Washington, D.C., and attempted to gain an audience with President John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, they arrived at the White House the morning the Cuban Missile Crisis was breaking, and were ordered at gunpoint to drive off. : 199–200
Early in his career, Ward was involved in two near-fatal incidents. He was run over by a car just outside his office, and he later received incorrect medical treatment while hyperventilating in an airplane. He then developed agoraphobia. : 181–182
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Ward died of renal cancer in West Hollywood on October 12, 1989, and is buried in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.
The offices of Jay Ward Productions, today managed by members of his family, are located across the street from the Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip. The building could be identified by a statue of Bullwinkle and Rocky, located in front. In 2013, the statue was reported by the Los Angeles NBC affiliate KNBC to have been removed from its location by DreamWorks Animation, which currently owns the licensing rights to the Jay Ward catalogue.DreamWorks Animation had stated that they intended to restore the statue as soon as repairs were completed on it; however, as of May 2014, the statue's whereabouts and status were unknown. It had been speculated that DreamWorks intended to relocate the statue to its own headquarters. In late 2014 (ran until 4 January 2015) the statue was temporarily located at the Paley Center for Media, in Beverly Hills, California, in conjunction with "The Jay Ward Legacy Exhibit".
Following Ward's death, Alexander Anderson Jr., who had created the initial conceptions of the characters Dudley Do-Right, Bullwinkle and Rocky, but had not received public recognition, learned the characters had been copyrighted in Ward's name alone.He sued Ward's heirs to reclaim credit as a creator, and in 1993 or 1996 (sources differ), Anderson received a financial settlement and a court order acknowledging him as "the creator of the first version of the characters of Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Dudley".
On June 21, 2000, Ward was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard for his contribution to the television industry,paid for as part of the publicity for the live-action and animation film The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle .
In 2002, Jay Ward Productions established a partnership with Classic Media called Bullwinkle Studios;[ citation needed ] the partnership produced DVDs of the first five seasons of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011 respectively, and then switched to releasing "best of" DVD collections of segments from the series. Eventually, the complete fourth and fifth seasons would be released.[ citation needed ] Until it closed in July 2004, the Dudley Do-Right Emporium, which sold souvenirs based on Ward's characters and was largely staffed by Ward and his family, was located on Sunset Boulevard.
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends is an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959, on the ABC and NBC television networks.
Animation in the United States in the television era was a period in the history of U.S. animation that slowly set in with the decline of theatrical animated shorts and the popularization of television animation during the late 1950s to 1960s, and was in full swing by the 1970s to 1980s.
Crusader Rabbit is the first animated series produced specifically for television. Its main characters were Crusader Rabbit and his sidekick Ragland T. Tiger, or "Rags". The stories were four-minute-long satirical cliffhangers.
Dudley Do-Right, created by Alex Anderson with Chris Hayward, Allan Burns and Jay Ward is the main protagonist of "Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties", a segment on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show that parodied early 20th-century melodrama and silent film, using only a piano as a musical background.
Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel, also known as Rocky the Flying Squirrel, is a plucky flying squirrel and one of the two protagonists of the 1959–1964 animated series Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, produced by Jay Ward. Rocky is the best friend and ally of the western moose, Bullwinkle. Both Rocky and Bullwinkle were given the middle initial "J" as a reference to Ward.
William John Scott was an American voice actor, writer and producer for animated cartoons, primarily associated with Jay Ward and UPA, as well as one of the founding members of ASIFA-Hollywood. He is probably best known as the head writer, co-producer and the voice of several characters from the popular programs Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show.
Boris Badenov is an antagonist of the 1959–1964 animated cartoons Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, collectively referred to as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show for short. He was voiced by Paul Frees.
Bullwinkle J. Moose is a fictional character which premiered in the 1959–1964 ABC network animated television series Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, often collectively referred to as Rocky and Bullwinkle, produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott. When the show changed networks in 1961, the series moved to NBC and was retitled The Bullwinkle Show, where it stayed until 1964. It then returned to ABC, where it was in repeats for nine more years. It has been in syndication ever since.
Allan Pennington Burns was an American screenwriter and television producer. He was best known for creating and writing for the television sitcoms The Munsters and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Jay Ward Productions, Inc. is an American animation studio based in Los Angeles County, California. It was founded in 1948 by American animator Jay Ward, and was most notable for the Rocky and Bullwinkle and George of the Jungle franchises.
Moosylvania is a fictional island located in the Lake of the Woods along the Canada–United States border that served as a plot device in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
Alexander Hume Anderson Jr. was an American cartoonist who created the characters of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Bullwinkle, and Dudley Do-Right, as well as Crusader Rabbit. He was not directly involved in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, however.
The Duck Factory is an American sitcom produced by MTM Enterprises that aired on NBC from April 12 until July 11, 1984. It was Jim Carrey's first lead role in a Hollywood production. It was also the only time when Don Messick appeared as a live-action sequence, although he also voiced a cartoon character in the sitcom as well. The show was set at a small independent animation studio, and was co-created by Allan Burns and Herbert Klynn. Burns had started his career as a writer/animator for The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and George of the Jungle, before turning to live action and co-creating The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Klynn had worked in various production capacities on Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing-Boing, amongst many other cartoons.
Christopher Robert Hayward was an American television writer and producer. He was the co-creator, with Allan Burns, of the television shows The Munsters (1964) and My Mother the Car (1965), and the creator of Dudley Do-Right.
The Dudley Do-Right Emporium was a small, eccentric gift shop named after that fearless Canadian Mountie Dudley Do-Right, located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California.
Winnie the Pooh is a 1978-1988 daily comic strip based on the Winnie-the-Pooh characters created by A.A. Milne in his 1920s books. The strip ran from June 19, 1978, until April 2, 1988. This is one of many Disney comic strips that have run in newspapers since 1930.
"Jet Fuel Formula" is the first and the longest Rocky and Bullwinkle story arc and is the pilot of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends. It is also noteworthy in that it established most of the characters, themes, running gags, and other elements that would be employed in later stories and that would become so closely identified with the Rocky and Bullwinkle programs in the years since. The first few episodes contained a laugh track, which was removed when the episodes were released as part of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends Complete Season 1.
Rocky and Bullwinkle is a 2014 American computer-animated direct-to-video short film based on the 1960s animated television series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The short was directed by Gary Trousdale, while Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon were the writers. June Foray reprises her role as Rocky in her final voice role before her death on July 26, 2017, while Tom Kenny voices Bullwinkle. It was released on October 14, 2014, on the Blu-ray 3D of Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is an American animated comedy streaming television series produced by DreamWorks Animation Television which is a reboot of the 1959-1964 animated television series of the same name. It debuted on May 11, 2018 on Amazon Prime Video, being DreamWorks Animation Television's first series to air on a streaming service other than Netflix. Like its preceding spin-off The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show, animation was outsourced by DHX Media's 2D animation studio in Vancouver, Canada. The second half of the series was released on January 11, 2019.