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Sample Autograph Signature: William Hanna

American animator, director, producer, cartoon artist, and co-founder of Hanna-Barbera. William Denby Hanna (1910 2001) began his career with Leon Schlesinger Productions, producers of animated cartoons for Warner Brothers in 1931 despite lacking any formal art education. He became head of their Ink and Paint Department before leaving in 1933 to join the newly formed partnership of Harman-Ising who would produce cartoons for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. There he co-produced Tom and Jerry until 1937 when MGM made a business decision to bring production in-house. Hanna was among those hired away from Harman-Ising, and he became a senior director on MGM's Captain and the Kids series. MGM also hired Joseph Barbera that same year, and in 1939 the two co-direced Puss Gets the Boot wherein the the cat and mouse team of Tom and Jerry made their debut and were nominated for an Academy Award for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject. During the next 17 years, Hanna the Tom & Jerry series resulted in 7 Academy Awards for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject, and 13 other total nominations, more than any other character-based theatrical animated series. Hanna left MGM in 1957 and formed H-B Enterprises with his old partner Joseph Barbera to produce the series The Ruff & Reddy Show. The name was changed shortly thereafter to Hanna-Barbera Productions which eventually became the most successful television animation studio in the business with such hits as Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. In 1991, Hanna-Barbera Productions was sold to Turner Entertainment and renamed the Cartoon Network Studios.

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Author: William Hanna

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