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Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger
(May 20, 1884 – December 25, 1949) was an American film producer, remembered for founding Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger
Productions, which later became the Warner Bros. Cartoons
Warner Bros. Cartoons
studio, during the Golden Age of American animation. He was also a distant relative of the Warner Brothers. As head of his own studio, Schlesinger served as the producer of Warner's Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
and Merrie Melodies
Merrie Melodies
cartoons from 1930, when Schlesinger assumed production from his subcontractors, Harman and Ising, to 1944, when Warner acquired the studio.

Contents

1 Early life and career 2 Schlesinger as businessman

2.1 Business practices

3 Appearances in shorts 4 Later life and career 5 References 6 External links

Early life and career[edit] Schlesinger was born to a Jewish family[2] in Philadelphia. After working at a theater as an usher, songbook agent, actor, and manager (including the Palace Theater in Buffalo, New York),[3] he founded Pacific Title & Art Studio in 1919, where most of his business was producing title cards for silent films. As talking pictures ("talkies") replaced them in 1929 and 1930, Schlesinger looked for ways to capitalize on the new technology and stay in business. Some film historians claim that he helped finance the Warner Brothers' first talkie, The Jazz Singer
The Jazz Singer
(1927). He then secured a contract with the studio to produce its brand-new Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
series, and he signed animators Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising to create these cartoons with their Bosko
Bosko
character as the star. Schlesinger as businessman[edit] Schlesinger was a shrewd businessman with a keen eye for talent. When Harman and Ising left Warner Bros. with Bosko
Bosko
in 1934, Schlesinger set up his own studio on the Warner Bros. Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
lot at the corner of Van Ness and Fernwood. He wooed animators away from other studios, including some of those who had departed with Harman and Ising including Bob Clampett. One of these was Friz Freleng, whom Schlesinger promoted to oversee production of Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
and to develop the sister series, Merrie Melodies. Freleng's talent quickly shone through, and Schlesinger's hiring of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
and Frank Tashlin
Frank Tashlin
further increased the quality of the studio's output. He later added Carl Stalling
Carl Stalling
and Mel Blanc, and collectively these men created such famous characters as Porky Pig, Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck
and Bugs Bunny. Schlesinger largely took a "hands off" approach to the animation unit, allowing his directors freedom to create what they wished, provided that the resulting films were successful. Schlesinger sold Pacific Title & Art Studio in 1935 to concentrate on his animation studio. Business practices[edit] Schlesinger was known for his hard-nosed business practices. His animators worked in a dilapidated studio (Avery's unit were briefly assigned to a bungalow they dubbed "Termite Terrace"), and Schlesinger briefly shut down the studio in mid-1941 when unionized employees demanded a pay raise. On another occasion, he boycotted the Academy Awards for what he claimed was preferential treatment for the Walt Disney and MGM cartoon studios. He also farmed some of the Looney Tunes out to brother-in-law Ray Katz for tax breaks. Schlesinger was also known among his animators for his lisp. One oft-repeated story states that Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc
patterned the voices of both Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck
and Sylvester the Cat
Sylvester the Cat
on Schlesinger. However, in Mel Blanc's autobiography, That's Not All Folks!, he contradicts that conventional belief, writing "It seemed to me that such an extended mandible would hinder his speech, particularly on words containing an s sound. Thus 'despicable' became 'desthpicable'." Daffy's slobbery, exaggerated lisp was developed over time. Animators who worked with Schlesinger also found him conceited and somewhat foppish, wearing too much cologne and dressing like a dandy. Appearances in shorts[edit] Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger
appeared as himself in Freleng's short You Ought to Be in Pictures (1940), one that combines live action with animation. In this short, Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc
voices Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and all other characters, except Schlesinger who dubbed his voice because the studio did not have a sound camera. As with other Warner cartoon staffers, Schlesinger appeared in caricature form in such cartoons as Hollywood Steps Out, Russian Rhapsody and Nutty News. Later life and career[edit] Schlesinger remained head of the animation studio until 1944 when he sold his assets to Warner Bros. He continued to market the characters and headed Warners' Theater Services unit[4] until his death from a viral infection on Christmas Day, 1949 at the age of 65. Schlesinger also produced a number of B-movie
B-movie
Westerns in the 1930s. After Warner Bros. bought Schlesinger's studio, Eddie Selzer assumed Schlesinger's position as producer. Schlesinger was an avid racehorse fan and was a director of the Western Harness Racing Association. A United Press dispatch dated January 10, 1950, reported a director had been found to fill the vacancy caused by his death. He is interred in the Beth Olam Mausoleum inside the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
in Hollywood, California.[5] References[edit]

^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=8776&PIpi=376903 ^ Ginsburg, Benjamin (June 10, 2016). How the Jews Defeated Hitler - Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 61. ISBN 9781442252745.  ^ The Buffalo News, April 15, 1944 ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (February 7, 1948). "Billboard".  ^ https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8776

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leon Schlesinger.

Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger
on IMDb

v t e

Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
and Merrie Melodies

Studios

Harman-Ising Productions (1930–1933) Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger
Productions (1933–1944) Warner Bros. Cartoons
Warner Bros. Cartoons
(1944–1964) DePatie–Freleng Enterprises
DePatie–Freleng Enterprises
(1964–1967, 1979–1980) Format Films (1965–1967) Warner Bros.-Seven Arts
Warner Bros.-Seven Arts
(1967–1969) Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
Enterprises (1976–1980, 1994–1997) Warner Bros. Animation
Warner Bros. Animation
(1980–present)

People

Tex Avery Bea Benaderet Mel Blanc Bernard B. Brown Arthur Q. Bryan John Burton Daws Butler Bob Clampett Cal Dalton Arthur Davis David H. DePatie Earl Duvall Milt Franklyn Stan Freberg Friz Freleng June Foray Ben Hardaway Hugh Harman Ken Harris William L. Hendricks Cal Howard Rudolf Ising Chuck Jones Jack King William Lava Abe Levitow Michael Maltese Frank Marsales Norman McCabe Robert McKimson Tom Palmer Hawley Pratt Virgil Ross Leon Schlesinger Rod Scribner Edward Selzer Norman Spencer Carl Stalling Frank Tashlin Ben Washam

Characters

Babbit and Catstello Barnyard Dawg Beaky Buzzard Beans Blacque Jacque Shellacque Bosko Buddy Bugs Bunny Bunny and Claude Cecil Turtle Charlie Dog Claude Cat Clyde Bunny Colonel Shuffle Conrad the Cat Cool Cat Count Blood Count The Crusher Daffy Duck Egghead Jr. Elmer Fudd Foghorn Leghorn Foxy Gabby Goat Goofy Gophers Goopy Geer Gossamer Granny Hector the Bulldog Henery Hawk Hippety Hopper Honey Bunny Hubie and Bertie Hugo the Abominable Snowman Inki Lola Bunny Marc Antony and Pussyfoot Marvin the Martian Melissa Duck Merlin the Magic Mouse Michigan J. Frog Miss Prissy Nasty Canasta Penelope Pussycat Pepé Le Pew Pete Puma Petunia Pig Piggy Playboy Penguin Porky Pig Ralph Wolf The Road Runner Rocky and Mugsy Sam Sheepdog Slowpoke Rodriguez Sniffles Speedy Gonzales Spike the Bulldog and Chester the Terrier Sylvester Sylvester Jr. Taz The Three Bears Tweety Wile E. Coyote Willoughby Witch Hazel Yosemite Sam

Shorts

1929–1939 1940–1949 1950–1959 1960–1969 1970–present and miscellaneous Featuring Bugs Bunny Featuring Daffy Duck Featuring Porky Pig Blue Ribbon reissues Censored Eleven Unreleased

Television

Compilations

The Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Show The Road Runner Show The Porky Pig
Porky Pig
Show Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
on Nickelodeon Merrie Melodies
Merrie Melodies
Starring Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
& Friends Bugs 'n' Daffy

Originals

Tiny Toon Adventures Taz-Mania The Plucky Duck Show The Sylvester & Tweety
Tweety
Mysteries Baby Looney Tunes Duck Dodgers Loonatics Unleashed The Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
Show Wabbit/New Looney Tunes Specials

Feature films

Compilations

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Movie Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island Daffy Duck's Quackbusters The Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
Hall of Fame

Made for video

Tweety's High-Flying Adventure Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
Christmas Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run

Documentaries

Bugs Bunny: Superstar Bugs & Daffy: The Wartime Cartoons Chuck Amuck: The Movie

Live-action/ animation

Space Jam Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Music/Songs

"Merrily We Roll Along" "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" "Powerhouse" "The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)" "Camptown Races"

Other

Video games

Book Category

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 45766377 LCCN: n85378903 BNE: XX5341

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