By God, here we are in 2001, and a site called "Everything" doesn't even have a nodeshell for this guy. What's wrong with this picture?
Cartoon character featured in numerous theatrical and made for television short films. At first openly psychotic, Woody's mood calmed markedly through the years; however, his distinctive laugh--ha-ha-ha-HA-ha!--was a standard feature throughout his career.
As legend goes, animator Walter Lantz was continually interrupted while on his honeymoon by a woodpecker tapping incessantly on the roof of his cottage. Frustrated, he returned to the studio and dreamed up the then-insane, redheaded bird. This must be more than half fiction, as Lantz was married in 1941 and Woody first appeared alongside one of his other charaters, Andy Panda, in the 1940 short Knock, Knock.
Cartoon great Mel Blanc originally provided Woody's voice, but later sued Lantz for $500,000 for unauthorized use of his voice (Blanc was under exclusive contract at Warner Brothers at the time). Woody's voice was thereafter provided by animator Ben Hardaway and finally by Lantz's own wife, Grace Stafford, who took over the job in 1952.
The 1950s were rough times for the producers of theatrical shorts, and many companies went out of business. Lantz made a shrewd business decision to keep himself afloat: with the help of his distributor, Universal Pictures, he began work on The Woody Woodpecker Show, which aired on the ABC network in 1958 and 1959, and was shown in syndication on ABC until 1966. Twenty-six more shorts were produced for broadcast on NBC from 1970-75. The cartoon received its most recent (though short-lived) revival on the Fox Network in 1999. These decisions, coupled with much merchandising of his primary character, made Lantz a multimillionaire by the time of his death in 1994.