Tributes

From Jerry Beck

This morning, Jerry Beck posted the following on his popular animation weblog, Cartoon Brew.

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That’s Earl Kress (above left) with me at the Van Eaton Galleries in May 2010.

My friend, animation writer and Hanna-Barbera historian par excellence, Earl Kress passed away early this morning, succumbing to liver cancer. He had just turned 60 years old.

Earl’s credits are so numerous – I don’t know where to begin. For theaters he worked on story for Disney’s The Fox and The Hound, and the great Looney Tunes short Little Go Beep. In comic books, Earl penned many stories for Hanna-Barbera as well as The Simpsons for Bongo Comics and Looney Tunes for DC. The list of his television credits is too large to recount here (check IMDB), but highlights include various episodes of Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Tom & Jerry Tales – not to mention a pilot I produced called Hornswiggle.

He was also a devoted animation historian, and he produced several DVD and CD compilations that are indispensable: His Rhino Records’ Pic-a-nic Basket of Cartoon Classics and Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Sound FX are important preservations of these classic television soundtracks. His expertise made Warner Home Video’s Hanna Barbera DVDs as great as they could be: The Flintstones – Seasons 2, 4, 5 and 6, Top Cat – The Complete Series, Wacky Races, Huckleberry Hound – Volume 1, Yogi Bear – The Complete Series and Magilla Gorilla – The Complete Series. Without Earl, The Flintstones laser disc that John K. organized would not have been half as good.

Earl also served as a Vice President of the Animation Guild and was a founding member of the Writers Guild Animation Caucus.

But of course, Earl was more than a great writer and historian – he was a true friend and a great lunch buddy. He really helped me out on more than one occasion, eagerly sharing his knowledge and film collection when I needed help on several of my books regarding Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbera. His work on Hornswiggle and several other projects we did together was top notch, and thoroughly professional. That’s what he was – a top professional and one of the good guys – make that one of the best guys – in the business.

I’ll mourn his loss. This is a very sad day. He will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace, my friend.

From Joe Medeiros

Many years ago, this photo was taken of Earl with one of his favorite characters Kermit the Frog when Kermit was a guest on the Tonight Show where I was working at the time. I first met Earl in 1973 at Temple University when he starred — hilariously – in a student film I was making. When I moved to LA, I ran into Earl who had been living here for years pursuing his amazing career. We’d get together every now and then for coffee at Starbucks or dinner at Mo’s in Burbank. I always enjoyed seeing him because he was a kind, funny and certainly talented man whose positive outlook was something I admired. I was supposed to give Earl the Kermit photo but I had misplaced it and and I thought it to be lost. But the other day, I found it and was going to bring it to him this week. Earl, I screwed up. But here’s your photo and this is the way I want to remember you – smiling, happy and full of life. You will be missed.

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From David Gerstein

Earl-our industry is poorer for the knowledge you had that was never acted upon. Be well, wherever you are.

From Cheryl Hudock Chase

Keep writing, Earl…Heaven can use a good laugh!

From Katharine Lhota

Denise, I met Earl in 1982 at the Detroit Sons of the Desert convention. We wrote back and forth, and talked on the phone for years. I particularly remember calling Earl in desperation for any news on “Quantum Leap” in 1993 because I didn’t want my favorite TV show to go away, and he used to help out with vintage props. Earl was a sweet man, and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. My heart goes out to you, and I hope that there is plenty of love and support for you.

From Dave Alvarez

Me acabo de enterar que mi gran amigo Earl Kress murió después de una batalla contra el cáncer. Para los que no saben quien es Earl, el era el escritor principal de Animaniacs, Pinky y Brain, Tiny Toons e innumerables comics de Looney Tunes. Laborar junto a el era una escuela. El, al igual que yo, era fan de los Muppets y participó en la película “The Muppet Movie” aguantando el muñeco de Enrique en al escena final. Luego de ahí fue consultor para las figuras nuevas que sacaron al mercado. Earl, gracias por todo y por enseñarme a caminar en éste difícil camino del mundo de Hollywood. Se te va a extrañar.

From Kevin L. Williams to Steve Troop

Working on a tribute to Earl Kress and found this awesome picture of the three of us in an elevator.

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From Ken Mitchroney

We will all miss you, pal.

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From Stuart Shostak

A salute to the classic years of Hanna-Barbera TV animation. Clockwise L-R: Me, animator Scott Shaw!, legendary H-B layout/character designer Jerry Eisenberg, and H-B writer/historian Earl Kress. This was the 3-16-11 show.

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From Morton Eng

Earl Kress, you did a good job as a writer for animation in many years and especially the book DID YOU GROW UP WITH ME, TOO?.