Jay Ward - Details


Jay Ward developed the original animated TV series Rocky and His Friends for ABC television in 1959. The program, renamed The Bullwinkle Show, moved to prime time on NBC in 1961. The new shows ended in 1964, then returned to ABC from 1964-73 in reruns. The have remained a television staple in reruns in syndication or on cable since 1973.
Ward was one of the pioneers of animation produced expressly for television. He began his cartoon career with Crusader Rabbit in 1949, the first cartoon made for the new medium. In 1959, Ward and Bill Scott partnered in producing Rocky and His Friends. Lacking the visual lushness of big screen animation, Ward supplemented his shows with scripts peppered with clever puns, subversive humor and political and social satire. In addition to the animated antics of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his antlered sidekick, Bullwinkle the Moose, Ward's 163 half-hour shows also featured such segments as Aesop's and Son, Fractured Fairy Tales, Peabody's Improbable History, Bullwinkle's Corner, Mr. Know-It-All and the adventures of the heroic mountie, Dudley Do-Right.
Ward's other cartoon creations include Hoppity Hooper, (1964-65, ABC) and George Of The Jungle (1997) (which Disney made into a hit film of the same name, starring Brendan Fraser), Tom Slick and Superchicken (1967-68, ABC). He also produced the live-action show, Fractured Flickers, and two feature film documentaries, The Crazy World of Laurel and Hardy and The Golden Age of Buster Keaton.
Ward was born in Berkeley and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley before earning his M.B.A. at Harvard. After serving in the U.S. Army during WWII, he began a career in real estate in 1947. While recuperating from severe injuries suffered in a freak trucking accident, he turned his focus to a new emerging medium, television, and animation. He sold Crusader Rabbit to television in 1949. He later formed Jay Ward Productions, Inc., in Los Angeles in 1958, where lifesize statues of Rocky and Bullwinkle still stand on Sunset Blvd.


  • 20th September 1920 - Birth
  • 12th October 1989 - Death