Fred Quimby

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Fred Quimby
Quimby in the studio in 1944
Frederick Clinton Quimby

(1886-07-31)July 31, 1886
DiedSeptember 16, 1965(1965-09-16) (aged 79)
OccupationAnimation producer
Years active1921–1955
Sue Quimby
(m. 1923; died 1954)

Frederick Clinton Quimby[1] (July 31, 1886 – September 16, 1965) was an American animation producer and journalist best known for producing the Tom and Jerry cartoon series, for which he won seven Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Films. He was the film sales executive in charge of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio, which included Tex Avery, Droopy, Butch Dog, Barney Bear, Michael Lah and multiple one-shot cartoons, as well as William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the creators of Tom and Jerry.

Life and career[edit]

Quimby was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota,[2] and started his career as a journalist. In 1907, he managed a film theater in Missoula, Montana. Later, he worked at Pathé, and became a member of the board of directors before leaving in 1921 to become an independent producer. He was hired by Fox Film in 1924, and moved to MGM in 1927 to head its short features department. In 1937, he was assigned to create MGM's animation department.[3][4]: 65 

In 1939, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera presented Quimby with a proposal for a series of cartoons featuring a cat and a mouse. Although he had no interest in the idea, Quimby approved,[3] 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. However, following the critical and financial success of that cartoon, he agreed to make Tom and Jerry an official cartoon of the MGM cartoon studio.[citation needed] As producer, Quimby became a multiple recipient of the Academy Award for Animated Short Film for the Tom and Jerry films, though he never invited Hanna and Barbera onstage when he accepted the awards. His name became well known due to its prominence in the cartoon credits, and Quimby took sole credit for approving and producing the Tom and Jerry series[citation needed]. Quimby was not involved in the creative process and 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.[5]

After the production of Good Will to Men (a remake of Peace on Earth), Quimby retired from MGM in May 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 re-releasing old cartoons would be more profitable, 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.

Quimby died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California on September 16, 1965, about seven weeks after his 79th birthday, and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.[6]

Academy Award credits[edit]


  1. ^ Susanin, Timothy S. (2011). Walt Before Mickey: Disney's Early Years, 1919–1928. University Press of Mississippi. p. 290. ISBN 978-1604739602.
  2. ^ The a to Z of Animation and Cartoons. Scarecrow Press. April 2010. ISBN 9781461664024.
  3. ^ a b "". Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  4. ^ Barbera, Joseph (1994). My Life in "Toons": From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. ISBN 1-57036-042-1.
  5. ^ Tom and Jerry Online. Similar opinions are expressed elsewhere, e.g. here Archived May 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Wilson, Scott (August 22, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9780786479924. Retrieved June 29, 2021 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Capace, Nancy (2001). Encyclopedia of New Mexico. p. 173. ISBN 9780403096077.
  8. ^ "The 13th Academy Awards | 1941". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "The 14th Academy Awards | 1942". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  10. ^ "The 15th Academy Awards | 1943". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  11. ^ "The 25th Academy Awards | 1953". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 29, 2021.

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