American animator (1913-1984). Born in San Diego, Clampett got an early start in animation when he joined the Warner Brothers cartoon studio in the early 1930s. He and fellow director Tex Avery were largely behind Warner Brothers' move from cute-and-cuddly Disney-style cartoons to the more edgy and surreal style that we've come to associate with Warners (some historians credit Clampett more than Avery, while others say Avery got the ball rolling--I think it's clear that they were both influencing each other, and insisting on crediting one more than the other is just silly).

Clampett can definitely be credited with creating Tweety Bird (with an appearance that was supposedly based on one of Clampett's old baby pictures) and with giving Daffy Duck his initially insane personality, with the little black duck jumping around wildly, hooting "Woo-Hoo! Woo-Hoo! Woo-Hoo!" and generally acting zany. He was also behind one of the most bizarrely surreal cartoons ever: 1938's "Porky in Wackyland," where Porky Pig chased the elusive Dodo through a Dali-inspired world populated by rubber bands, three-headed monsters, and mid-air elevators. He also directed classics like "The Daffy Doc", "Wabbit Twouble", the controversial "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs", "Corny Concerto", "What's Cookin', Doc?", "Falling Hare", "Russian Rhapsody", "The Old Grey Hare", "The Bashful Buzzard", "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery", and "Book Revue."

Clampett left Warners in 1946 and worked briefly for Columbia's cartoon department. In 1949, he was the producer and director for "Time for Beany", a TV puppet show that won multiple awards and garnered a huge audience. During the 1950s, he revived the characters to make an animated series called "Beany and Cecil."

Clampett was also one of the few animators to save his original animation artwork, anticipating that they would eventually have historical, artistic, and monetary value.

My favorite bits of trivia about Clampett: (1) he loved boating and once saved three men who had gotten into a boating accident. (2) He is sometimes credited with being the first person to introduce the use of anvils as weapons, in 1942's "A Tale of Two Kitties."

Clampett died of a heart attack in Detroit in 1984.

Research from and the Internet Movie Database (

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