In a career spanning over 60 years, Chuck Jones made more than 300 animated films, winning three Oscars as director and in 1996 an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. Among the many awards and recognitions, one of those most valued was the honorary life membership from the Directors Guild of America.
During the Golden Age of Animation Jones helped bring to life many of Warner Bros. most famous characters: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. The list of characters he created himself includes Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian, Pepe le Pew, Michigan J. Frog and many others. He also produced, directed and wrote the screenplays for “Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” a television classic, as well as the feature length film “The Phantom Tollbooth.” In addition, Jones was a prolific artist whose work has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide.
Born in 1912 in Spokane, Washington, Jones grew up in Hollywood where he observed the talents of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. After graduation from Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, Jones first job in the animation industry was as a cel washer for former Disney animator, Ubbe Iwerks. In 1936 Jones was hired by Friz Freleng as an animator for the Leon Schlesinger Studio (later sold to Warner Bros.) He worked with and for directors Tex Avery and Bob Clampett until the early forties when they left the studio, ad for the remainder of his years at WB he worked in parallel with Directors Freleng and Robert McKimson. He remained at WB until the studio was closed. After a short stay at Disney studios, Jones moved to MGM Studios where he created new episodes from the Tom and Jerry cartoon series. While there he also directed the Academy Award winning film, The Dot and the Line. Jones established his own production company, Chuck Jones Enterprises, in 1962 and produced nine half hour animation films for television.
In recent years, Jones’ work has been honored at film festivals and museums throughout the world. His autobiography, Chuck Amuck appeared in 1989. Chuck Reducks, his follow-up to the first book, was published two years later. In the late 1970’s Jones and his daughter Linda, pioneered a continuing art business featuring limited edition art created by Chuck. In 2000, Jones established the Chuck Jones Foundation, designed to recognize support and inspire continued excellence in the art of classic animation. He passed away in 2002.
For more information about Chuck Jones, visit www.chuckjones.com.