JOE BARBERA, one half of the creative duo that delighted generations of children with the homicidal spats between a cat and a mouse, the ranger-baiting activities of a delinquent bear and the adventures of a ghost-hunting Great Dane and his pesky friends, died on Monday. He was 95.
In partnership with Bill Hanna, Barbera gave the world such classic cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, the Flintstones and the Jetsons.
As the hugely successful animation team Hanna-Barbera, it was Barbera's sketching skill and comic ability, combined with Hanna's warmth and keen sense of timing which saw the pair conceive some of the best-loved cartoon characters of all time. Tom and Jerry won seven Academy Awards, more than any other series with the same characters.
Barbera died of natural causes at home with his wife Stella by his side, a Warner Bros spokesman said. Hanna, who died in 2001, once said he was never a good artist but his partner could "capture mood and expression in a quick sketch better than anyone I've ever known".
Neither intended to go into animation. Barbera, who grew up in Brooklyn, originally went into banking and Hanna, who had studied engineering and journalism, got involved with animation because he needed a job.
Joseph Barbera was born in Italy in 1911 and began his career as a tailor's delivery boy. He first met William Hanna amid the blocks of MGM studios in the 1930s and together they began to bring to life a cast of characters that included Huckleberry Hound and Friends and Touché Turtle.