The cartoonist who first drew animated icons Rocky and Bullwinkle has passed away. Alex Anderson passed away last Friday at the age of 90.
Anderson first worked for Terrytoons in 1938, returning in 1946 after spending time in the U.S. Navy during the war.
In 1948, Anderson began to conceive a variety of ideas for cartoon characters, including Bullwinkle and Rocky in an animated variety show that the endearing pair could co-host.
Jay Ward, his childhood friend and business partner, helped to finance Anderson’s creations, popularizing his Crusader Rabbit series which ran on NBC from 1949 to 1951.
Various copyright issues ensued after NBC ran into money troubles and the show’s rights were bought out. As a result, Ward was considered sole creator of Bullwinkle and Rocky, leaving Anderson almost unknown.
Anderson later took legal action to reclaim his name as creator of the cartoon characters.
“Some time after Jay died in 1989, I discovered he had copyrighted the characters in his name alone, a violation of our original agreement,” Anderson said in an interview with cartoon history site Hogan’s Alley.
“In 1996, I reached an out-of-court settlement of my lawsuit with Jay Ward Productions concerning certain rights to Bullwinkle, Rocky and Dudley Do-Right.