Isadore (Friz) Freleng was the blithe spirit who helped give life to a menagerie of such madcap merrymakers as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester and Tweety Bird and who also became the personification of Yosemite Sam.
Freleng was a primal force in the history of the film cartoon, operating out of offices the artists dubbed Termite Terrace. The sobriquet was as irreverent as the string of Merrie Melodies characters the raucous quartet fathered there over the years.
Freleng even admitted to serving as inspiration for the gun-slinging, brazen Sam.
"I have the same temperament," Freleng told the Associated Press. "I'm small, and I used to have a red mustache."
At his death, Freleng had earned an Academy Award for "The Pink Phink," a cartoon featuring the Pink Panther character Freleng had created. He also had been nominated by name two more times and directed three other Oscar winners: "Knighty Knight Bugs" (1958), "Birds Anonymous" (1957) and "Speedy Gonzales" (1955).
|1961||Best Short Subject - Cartoon||The Pied Piper of Guadalupe||Nomination|
|1964||Best Short Subject - Cartoon||The Pink Phink||Win*|
|1966||Best Short Subject - Cartoon||The Pink Blueprint||Nomination*|