Profile Image of Ben Hardaway

Ben Hardaway

1895-05-21 - 1957-02-05

Joseph Benson 'Ben' (a.k.a. 'Bugs') Hardaway (May 21, 1895 – February 5, 1957) was an American storyboard artist, animator, voice actor, gagman, writer and director for several American animation studios during The Golden Age of Hollywood animation. While at the Leon Schlesinger / Warner Bros. studio during the late 1930s, Hardaway, in 1938, co-directed Porky's Hare Hunt, the first film to feature a rabbit. When this unnamed, embryonic rabbit was given a new model sheet for a later short, since, according to Chuck Jones, Hardaway "didn't draw it very well", designer Charlie Thorson inadvertently offered a permanent name by titling the model sheet "Bugs' Bunny" since it was meant for Hardaway's unit. By the time the rabbit was redesigned and refined for the film A Wild Hare, the name was already being used in relation to the character in studio publicity materials. In 1940, Hardaway joined the staff of Walter Lantz Productions, where he helped Walter Lantz in creating the studio's most famous character, Woody Woodpecker. Hardaway wrote or co-wrote most of the stories for the 1940–1950 Woody Woodpecker shorts, as well as supplying Woody's voice between 1944 and 1949. [biography (excerpted) from Wikipedia]