Fred Quimby

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Fred Quimby
Born Frederick Clinton Quimby
(1886-07-31)July 31, 1886
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Died September 16, 1965(1965-09-16) (aged 79)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Animation producer
Years active 1918–1955

Frederick Clinton[1] "Fred" Quimby (July 31, 1886 – September 16, 1965) was an American cartoon producer, best known as a producer of Tom and Jerry cartoons, for which he won seven Academy Awards. He was the film sales executive in charge of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio, which included Tex Avery and the team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, creators of Tom and Jerry.

Life and career[edit]

Quimby was born in Minneapolis, and started his career as a journalist. In 1907, he managed a film theater in Missoula, Montana. Later, he worked at Pathé, rising to become a member of the board of directors before leaving in 1921 to become an independent producer. He was hired by Fox in 1924, and then MGM in 1927 to head its short features department. In 1937, he was assigned to put together its animation department.[2][3]:65

In 1939, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera presented him with their project for a series of cartoons featuring a cat and a mouse. Quimby approved,[2] and the result was Puss Gets the Boot, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Initially he refused to pursue more Cat and Mouse cartoons after Puss Gets the Boot but success and money earnings that were for the cartoon he agreed to make Tom and Jerry an official cartoon for the MGM cartoon studio[citation needed]. As producer, Quimby became a repeated recipient of the Academy Award for Animated Short Film for the Tom and Jerry films without inviting Hanna and Barbera onstage and his name became well known due to its prominence in the cartoon credits[citation needed]. Even though Quimby had taken sole credit for approving and producing the Tom and Jerry series, he was not involved in the creative process[citation needed]. Besides, Quimby had a difficult relationship with animators, including Hanna and Barbera, who believed that Quimby was not fit for a real animation leader;

...unfortunately for a cartoon producer, [he had] no sense of humor to call upon... He knew nothing of animation and cartoons were a strange thing to him. Cast in the role of high school principal opposite the animators' boyish enthusiasms, he acted as liaisons between them and the front office, usually it seemed, turning down requests for bigger budgets, raises and special dispensations of funds.[4]

Quimby retired from MGM in 1955, with Hanna and Barbera assuming his role as co-heads of the studio and taking over the production title for the Tom and Jerry shorts. Despite the success with Hanna and Barbera MGM assumed that bringing in old cartoons got more money and the MGM's cartoon division did not last long after; it was closed in 1957. MGM would later contract first Gene Deitch and then Chuck Jones to produce more Tom and Jerry shorts through their own studios during the 1960s. Fred Quimby died in Santa Monica, California in 1965 and was buried in Glendale.[5]

Academy Award credits[edit]


  1. ^ Susanin, Timothy S. (2011). Walt Before Mickey: Disney's Early Years, 1919–1928. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 290. ISBN 1604739606. 
  2. ^ a b The Creators
  3. ^ Barbera, Joseph (1994). My Life in "Toons": From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. ISBN 1-57036-042-1. 
  4. ^ Similar opinions are expressed elsewhere, e.g. at
  5. ^

External links[edit]