Frank Braxton

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Frank C. Braxton, Jr. (1929–1969) was a pioneering African-American animator and director.

Braxton started his animation career at Warner Bros. Cartoons in the 1950s as an assistant to Ben Washam and was one of the very first African-American animators with any Hollywood studio. He stayed at Warner Bros. for two years. Allegedly Washam went to his boss and essentially demanded the hiring of Braxton at Warner Bros. Cartoons. With no prior animation experience Braxton was brought on as an "inbetweener" with one or two other new hires, but his talent rapidly propelled him up to being an "assistant animator", and to none other than master animator Ben Washam, in the already legendary Chuck Jones unit at Warners. Thus many of the incredible Jones cartoons of the mid-1950s contain substantial amounts of Braxton's work. Later, he worked under animation director Bill Hurtz and briefly managed a cartoon studio in Barcelona, Spain.

Returning to the United States, Braxton was a director for The Bullwinkle Show, and Mr. Magoo. He also found work in 1967 for the quintessential "arty" cartoon director, John Hubley, on one of his films, "Urbanissimo". That same year (and in 1968) he also animated on a couple of Charlie Brown TV specials like You're in Love, Charlie Brown and He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown., And under fellow Warner-alumnus Bill Melendez. Also in 1967 he again worked as a director for Jay Ward on Ward's last TV series, "George Of The Jungle" and on his early "Cap'n Crunch" cereal commercials. He was also briefly president of the Los Angeles local of the Screen Cartoonists Guild.[1]

Braxton died of cancer in 1969. He is interred at Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles. his last animated project is A Boy Named Charlie Brown that came out in 1969.

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