Wednesday, 10 June 2015

And Hi Mankin Thanks You, Too

When The Huckleberry Hound Show won the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program in 1960, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera took out a full-page ad in the June 23, 1960 thanking members of the Television Academy for the honour.

The ad also seems to include the names of all the people employed by the studio at the time. You can click on it to read it better.

The list is as interesting for the names it includes as for those it doesn’t. For one thing, it’s missing both layout man Bob Givens (picture to the right from his UPA days, courtesy of Tony Benedict) and background artist Joe Montell. Givens worked on the Quick Draw show that season and Montell on the Huck series, but both had left the studio by the time the ad was published. Conversely, it includes Hi Mankin, who laid out only one cartoon at Hanna-Barbera that season (the Augie Doggie short Horse Fathers). Evidently animator La Verne Harding either had not arrived at the studio or was working freelance. And confirming what we reported in a post about Bill Schipek, he was not at Hanna-Barbera right from the start in 1957. His name is not on the list.

In the 1958-59 season, Hanna-Barbera had three full-time animators, plus Mike Lah doing double duty. The following year, with the Quick Draw show and Loopy De Loop on the production schedule, the animation staff consisted of:
● Emil Carle
● Jack Carr
● Bob Carr
● Brad Case
● Ed DeMattia
● Hicks Lokey
● Ed Love
● Dick Lundy
● Lew Marshall
● Ken Muse
● George Nicholas
● Don Patterson
● Carlo Vinci
● Allen Wilzbach

It was nice of the studio to include the main voice acting talent—Daws Butler, Don Messick, Hal Smith, Jean Vander Pyl and Doug Young. And it appears the entire ink and paint department got some recognition.

Jean Stau is listed in Variety in 1960 as the casting director for Ruff ‘n’ Reddy. As the show’s cast had consisted of the team of Butler and Messick since 1957, one wonders how much Jean actually did. Alan Dinehart’s name appears. He had been hired to work on the production end, including voice casting, on The Flintstones, which had begun production a few months before this ad came out.

An interesting name which I haven’t had time to research is that of Shirley Gillett. When you see the name “Gillett,” you think of Burt Gillett, director of The Three Little Pigs at Disney who seems to have vanished around 1940. Well, he did have a daughter named Shirley, born around 1936. Could it be the same person?

The most unexpected name on the list is Jack Miller. If it’s the same Jack Miller, he was the New York-born Jack H. Miller who worked on stories for Harman-Ising and Leon Schlesinger in the late ‘30s and apparently died in 1973. His name also appears on some 1960s TV Popeyes, which also employed others who ended up doing work at Hanna-Barbera (Noel Tucker, for example). It’s the first I’ve heard of him being employed on either Huck or Quick Draw. His name never appeared in the credits. Could have he been providing story sketches along with Dan Gordon?

Pat Helmuth was a checker, working at Disney and H-B from 1955 to 1982. I believe she freelanced after that. Pat died on May 14th in the Oakland area, so it’s fitting to dedicate this post to the inkers, painters, checkers and others who helped make those early Hanna-Barbera cartoons such fun to watch, but never seemed to get much credit.

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