|Born||Edward Stacey Pierce III
August 12, 1906
|Died||February 19, 1972(aged 65)|
|Years active||1936 – 1972|
Edward Stacey "Tedd" Pierce III (August 12, 1906 – February 19, 1972) was an American animated cartoon writer, animator, and artist.
Pierce spent the majority of his career as a writer for the Warner Bros. "Termite Terrace" animation studio, working alongside fellow luminaries such as Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese. Pierce also worked as a writer at Fleischer Studios from 1939 to 1941. Jones credited Pierce in his 1989 autobiography Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist as being the inspiration for the character Pepé Le Pew, the haplessly romantic French skunk due to Pierce's self-proclamation that he was a ladies' man.
In early credits he was shown as "Ted Pierce". He was said to have added an extra "d" to his name as a way of lampooning puppeteer Bil Baird when he dropped one of the "l"s from his first name.
He contributed (with Bill Danch) the story of the 1962 Tom and Jerry cartoon Tall in the Trap, directed by Gene Deitch. Originally the cartoon would have starred Sylvester the cat and Speedy Gonzales and would have been directed by Robert McKimson. However, McKimson disapproved of the storyline, and decided not to use it. Instead, Pierce sold it to Danch and Deitch, who were desperately looking for suitable storylines for Tom and Jerry.
In his Warners career, Pierce worked with three of the three best-known Warner animation directors (Jones, McKimson and Friz Freleng). He contributed many notable storylines for all three of them, including Freleng's Hare Do (1949), Bad Ol' Putty Tat (1949), Bunker Hill Bunny (1950) and Big House Bunny (1950); Jones' Hare Tonic (1945, an early success for both of them) and Broom-Stick Bunny (1956); and McKimson's Hillbilly Hare (1950), Lovelorn Leghorn (1951) and Cat-Tails for Two (1953), the last of which was Speedy Gonzales' first appearance. However, because much of Pierce's Termite Terrace career was spent with McKimson's unit (McKimson was considered one of the least-known Warners animation directors), it would follow that Pierce was generally overshadowed by his contemporaries as story writers at Warners, Warren Foster and Maltese.
Pierce also got occasional voice work in the cartoons. Pierce gave voice to King Bombo in Gulliver's Travels (1939), and the villainous C. Bagley Beetle in Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941), in addition to writing on those films. He imitated Bud Abbott in one Warner cartoon casting Abbott and Costello as alley cats Babbit and Catstello (A Tale of Two Kitties (1942, co-staring Tweety and directed by Bob Clampett)) and two Warner cartoons casting them as mice (A Tale of Two Mice (1945, directed by Frank Tashlin) and The Mouse-Merized Cat (1946, directed by McKimson)). Pierce also voiced Tom Dover in The Dover Boys (1942, which he wrote for Jones), the "tall, thin" character in Wackiki Wabbit (1943, which he also wrote for Jones), and the French chef François in French Rarebit (1951, which he wrote for McKimson). In addition, in a few cartoons containing Jones' Hubie and Bertie, Bertie's voice was Pierce; Hubie was voiced by Mike Maltese. Thereafter they were voiced by the principal voice actor, Mel Blanc, and Stan Freberg, who had also voiced secondary Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies duos such as the Goofy Gophers and Spike the Bulldog and Chester the Terrier.
Tedd Pierce's own, undisguised voice (a pleasant tenor) was heard in coming-attractions trailers for Universal Pictures. Pierce enthusiastically narrated these previews of Universal Pictures' 1940s features starring Abbott and Costello, The Ritz Brothers, Maria Montez, Gloria Jean, and Donald O'Connor.