William Denby Hanna (July 14, 1910 – March 22, 2001) was an American animator, voice actor, cartoonist, and musician, who was the creator of Tom and Jerry as well as the creator of the animation studio and production company Hanna-Barbera. Hanna joined the Harman and Ising animation studio in 1930 and steadily gained skill and prominence while working on cartoons such as Captain and the Kids. In 1937, while working at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Hanna met Joseph Barbera. In 1957, they co-founded Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio in the business, creating or producing programs such as The Flintstones, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, and Yogi Bear. In 1967, Hanna-Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12 million, but Hanna and Barbera remained heads of the company until 1991. At that time, the studio was sold to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn was merged with Time Warner in 1996; Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors. Tom and Jerry won seven Academy Awards, while Hanna and Barbera were nominated for two others and won eight Emmy Awards. Their cartoons 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 their 1960s heyday, and have been translated into more than 28 languages.
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