Skip to comments.Ed Benedict, animator who drew 'The Flintstones' dead at 94
Posted on 10/10/2006 7:28:13 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Ed Benedict, a legendary animator who put life, love and laughter in TV cartoon characters like Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble and Yogi Bear, has died at the age of 94.
Benedict died Aug. 28 in Auburn in Northern California, his longtime friend and fellow animator David K. Sheldon, confirmed Tuesday.
"He was quite an interesting fellow, that's for sure," Sheldon said. "He was the main character designer for all the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw."
Benedict, who worked at MGM, Universal and other studios on short, theatrical cartoons, joined Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera soon after the pair launched their groundbreaking Hanna-Barbera TV animation studio in the late 1950s. Among his many designs for them were the characters for their first series, 1957's "The Ruff & Reddy Show."
For "The Flintstones," the story of a "modern Stone Age family," Benedict not only designed the hapless cavemen Fred and Barney, but also their long-suffering wives, Wilma and Betty, and the show's clever array of Stone Age houses and gadgets, including the characters' foot-powered cars.
"The Flintstones," one of the first cartoon series created for adults as well as children, debuted in 1960 and was an immediate hit. Forty-six years later, Fred and Barney remain squarely in the public consciousness as pitchmen for various products, including Flintstones' vitamins.
"It would not be an exaggeration to say that a large part of H-B's success in TV animation is owed to Benedict's incredibly appealing and fun character designs," cartoon historian Jerry Beck wrote in a tribute posted on the Web site cartoonbrew.com
Without the time and budget that were lavished on classic theatrical cartoons, TV animated comedies had to leave out the beautiful backgrounds and lifelike movement in favor of witty dialogue and stories with vivid characters.
"Benedict's designs are both simple - they needed to be to accommodate the strenuous demands of limited TV animation - and highly sophisticated, containing that indefinable drawing quality that gives a drawing charm and personality," Amid Amidi wrote in his book "Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation."
Before joining Hanna-Barbera, Benedict worked for another cartoon legend, Tex Avery, at both Universal and MGM studios. At MGM, where Hanna and Barbera also worked, he was the lead layout artist and designer on "Deputy Droopy" and other popular theatrical shorts.
He also worked with "Woody Woodpecker" creator Walter Lantz on several shorts, including "The Dizzy Dwarf" and "Unpopular Mechanic."
Benedict, who was preceded in death by his wife, Alice, had requested that his ashes be scattered over California's Carmel Bay.
Information on survivors was not immediately available.
Yabba-Dabba Do! good man. Thanks for the memories.
I remember that I got to watch the Flintstones right before bed every night. That was a long time ago. If I was really, really lucky, my parents would let me come out of bed and watch Crazy Gugenheim on the Jackie Gleason show, which followed.
My favorite show when I was in kindergarten.
He passed a long time ago, a giant from a bygone era.
Great comedy. My parents LOVED the Flintstones (and not just because my Mother's name was Wilma!).
Never heard of him. What joy he brought to me in the 60s!
"Flintstones, Meet the Flintstones
They're the modern stone-age family
From the town of Bedrock
They're a page right out of history
Let's ride with the family down the street
Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet
When you're with the Flinstones
Have a yabba dabba doo time
A dabba doo time
You'll have a gay old time
Of course in this day and age.....having a gay old time doesn't mena what it used to...except maybe to gerry (studman) studds/barney fag/and of course.....mark foley!!!!
RIP...Mr. Benedict...you brought lots of happiness and pleasure to lots of people for a real long time!!!!
I was always a fan of Betty in an unsavory way.
Ed had more impact on me than Hef.
Confession is good for the soul.
It's funny but when you catch some of the older Hanna Barbera toons on Boomerang, you see a number of the Flintstones making appearances (with different voices). It can be a little confusing if you're a channel surfer. Fred as a forest ranger (wearing pants!). Wilma's face on a slightly heavier body (OK, since Wilma had no waist, it was a *much* heavier body).
Hope you enjoy heavenstone, Ed.
A man who brought happiness to millions. A good legacy.
Hey, me too! Pretty wild when you think about it. A prime-time cartoon show that was not just for kids. Decades before The Simpsons.
Since The Flintstones was somewhat based on the Honeymooners there is a link there.
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