NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (Sat February 23, 2002) (AP) _ Academy Award-winning animator Chuck Jones, who drew such beloved cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig, died at his home Friday. He was 89.
Jones worked on more than 300 animated films in a career that spanned more than 60 years. Three of his films won Academy Awards and he was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1996 for lifetime achievement. He also received an honorary life membership from the Directors Guild of America.
Jones died of congestive heart failure at his home in the coastal community of Corona del Mar, according to a statement released by his daughter's company, Linda Jones Enterprises.
Working at Warner Bros., Jones helped bring to life some of the studio's most recognizable characters. In addition to Bugs and Daffy, he worked on the fast-moving, beep-beeping Road Runner and his hapless pursuer, Wile E. Coyote. He also drew Pepe le Pew, the romantic-minded skunk with a French accent.
Jones also produced, directed and wrote the screenplay for the animated television classic ``Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.'
The animator's work won him admirers throughout the entertainment business.
``Chuck Jones' originality, his humor and his pacing still have no peer today,' director Steven Spielberg once said.
Three of Jones' films won Academy Awards: ``Frigid Hare,' ``So Much, So Little' and ``The Dot and the Line,' for which Jones also received a directing Oscar.
One of Jones' most popular films, ``What's Opera, Doc?' was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1992 for being ``among the most culturally, historically and aesthetically significant films of our time.'
Born in 1912 in Spokane, Wash., Jones moved to Hollywood with his family, finding work there as a child extra in Mac Sennett comedies.
After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of Arts), he began making a living drawing pencil portraits on Olvera Street, a historic Los Angeles marketplace.
He landed his first job washing animation cels in 1932, working for legendary Disney animator Ub Iwerks.
A few years later, he became an animator at the Leon Schlesinger Studio, which was later sold to Warner Bros. He headed up his own unit at the Warner Bros. Animation Dept. until it closed in 1962.
He also worked for MGM Studios, creating episodes for the ``Tom and Jerry' cartoon series.
Jones opened his own company, Chuck Jones Enterprises, in 1962, producing nine 30-minute animated films.
His autobiography, ``Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist,' was published in 1989, followed two years later by a second book, ``Chuck Reducks.'
Copyright AP 2002. All rights reserved.