William Hanna

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William Hanna
William Hanna.png
Born William Denby Hanna
July 14, 1910
Melrose, New Mexico Territory
Died March 22, 2001
Los Angeles, California
Cause of death Throat cancer
Nationality American
Occupation(s) Animator
Voice actor
Years active at MGM 1940-1958
Years active at Hanna-Barbera 1957-2001
Characters played Tom Cat
Jerry Mouse
Bill Hanna (character).png
Hanna guesting on I Yabba-Dabba Do!

William Denby Hanna (July 14, 1910 – March 22, 2001) was an American animator, voice actor, cartoonist, and an occasional musician who was the creator of Tom and Jerry, as well as the voice artist for the two titular characters. He was also one of the two founders behind the animation studio and production company Hanna-Barbera, along with Joseph Barbera.

Hanna began his career at the Harman and Ising animation studio in 1930 and steadily built his skills into prominence while working on cartoons. In 1937, Hanna was employed at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's cartoon department, in which he met Barbera and co-created the Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts. In 1957, they co-founded Hanna-Barbera, which not only became the most successful television animation studio in the business, but also created or produced programs such as The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Flintstones; The Yogi Bear Show; Top Cat; The Jetsons; Jonny Quest; and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! among others. In 1967, Hanna-Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting, 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 characters have appeared in other media such as films, books, and toys.

Hanna passed away from throat cancer on March 22, 2001, at the age of 90.

Crew credits


20th century

Behind the scenes

  • Despite his long-time partnership and friendship with Joseph Barbera, Hanna rarely socialized with him out of their work environment. They had different tastes in recreational activities, and hang out in different social circles.
  • Before entering animation, he had a strong background in music. He claimed that this aided in his mastery of animation timing and direction.


  • In the Red Razors arc of the comic 2000AD, a group of Sov-Block mercenary enforcers called themselves the Spooky Doo Gang, due to owning a dog called Spooky who resembled a green Scooby-Doo. Daphne's doppelganger is called Hannah, in reference to Hanna.
  • Hanna was one of three contestants in a 1975 episode of To Tell the Truth, where the panelists had to guess the correct Hanna.
  • There is a character resembling Hanna at the beginning of the film Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf.
  • In the film I Yabba-Dabba Do!, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm put Barbera and Hanna's names on an invitation to their wedding reception, with them showing up and voicing themselves. In the sequel, Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby, they sent flowers to the couple after the birth of their twins, Roxy and Chip.
  • In the Animaniacs segment "Back in Style," Thaddeus Plotz, the CEO of Warner Bros., loaned the Warner siblings to Phil and Shmoe, who were known for making cartoons of limited animation.
  • The film Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase is in memory of him.
  • A special Cartoon Network bumper was made in his memory.
  • The Web Premiere Toons short, "The Pitch," was made in his memory.
  • In the film Scoob!, there is a barbershop named Hanna's Barber Shop.