Joseph Roland Barbera (bar-BAIR-ə, BAR-bər-ə; Italian: [barˈbɛːra]; March 24, 1911 – December 18, 2006) was an American animator, director, producer, storyboard artist, and cartoon artist, who co-founded the animation studio and production company Hanna-Barbera. Born to Italian immigrants in New York City, Barbera joined Van Beuren Studios in 1927 and subsequently Terrytoons in 1929. In 1937, he moved to California and while working at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Barbera met William Hanna. The two men began a collaboration that was at first best known for producing Tom and Jerry. In 1957, after MGM dissolved their animation department, they co-founded Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio in the business, producing programs such as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Top Cat, The Smurfs, Huckleberry Hound, and The Jetsons. In 1967, Hanna-Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12 million, but Hanna and Barbera remained heads of the company. In 1991, the studio was sold to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn was merged with Time Warner, owners of Warner Bros., in 1996; Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors. Hanna and Barbera directed seven Academy Award films and won eight Emmy Awards. Their cartoon shows have become cultural icons, and their cartoon characters have appeared in other media such as films, books, and toys. Hanna-Barbera's shows had a worldwide audience of over 300 million people in the 1960s and have been translated into more than 28 languages.
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