Alex Anderson (1920-2010)

Alex Anderson, who created Rocky and Bullwinkle and Dudley Do-Right, passed away on October 22nd at the age of 90. An earlier foray into television, Crusader Rabbit, was the very first animated television series, broadcast in syndication beginning in 1950. Anderson partnered with Jay Ward to produce Crusader Rabbit and the two later collaborated on a new series, Rocky and His Friends, but Anderson didn’t want to relocate to Los Angeles. According to an obituary in TIME by Richard Corliss, Anderson agreed to act as creative consultant, leaving Ward in charge of the series along with Bill Scott.

Scott died in 1985 and Ward in 1989. In the early 1990s Anderson filed suit against Ward’s estate to reclaim credit as creator of Rocky, Bullwinkle and Dudley Do-Right. In a 2001 interview with the Archive of American Television, Anderson revealed that it wasn’t until Ward’s death that he learned how Ward had registered the characters in his name only. Of Ward’s legacy, Anderson said “he was the man who made it all happen. I’ve found that without a Jay Ward in my life nothing gets sold. I think Jay was a marvelous salesman. And as I said I think if it hadn’t been for Jay I don’t think any of this all would have come about.”

In addition to his television work, Anderson also worked in advertising. His uncle, Paul Terry, founded Terrytoons, the animation studio that created Mighty Mouse and a variety of other cartoon characters. Obituaries can be found at TIME, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    You forgot to mention that Ward’s estate settled with Anderson in 2006 for an undisclosed sum, AND he received credit for the creation of Rocky and Bullwinkle [who were originally part of a proposed 1950 Television Arts series he and Jay tried to sell, “THE FROSTBITE FALLS REVIEW”, which never got past an elaborate set of storyboards].

    If you want to see serialized episodes from the first two “crusades” of “CRUSADER RABBIT”, they’re currently posted on YouTube.

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