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​Bugs Bunny designer dies, aged 99

Bob Givens, the original designer of world-famous cartoon rabbit Bugs Bunny, has died aged 99.

18th December 2017
/ By Matthew Whitehouse

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Givens passed away on December 14 of an undisclosed illness in Burbank, California, US according to a statement made by his family via Facebook.

The talented artist graduated high school in 1936 and worked as a freelance artist before joining Disney Studios.

He worked in a minor capacity on several shorts before getting his break on the Oscar-winning Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.

After this, Givens moved on to Warner Bros., where he worked with well-respected American animators Chuck Jones and Tex Avery.

He was brought on to re-design Bugs Bunny as the design at the time was considered 'too cute.'

Bob's iconic design has permeated pop-culture and he will forever be remembered as creating one of the most internationally-recognised cartoon characters, along with Daffy Duck and the rest of the Warner Bros cast.

Given gained an Oscar nomination for his work on A Wild Hare in 1940 – the first time Bugs Bunny uttered the classic “What's up Doc?” line.

In 1942 he was drafted into the army and went to fight in World War II, returning to Hollywood in 1950.

After working as a character designer and layout artist for 30 years, Givens went on to work on Popeye, Garfield, Tom & Jerry and He-Man.

He retired after collaborating on Chuck Jones' straight-to-video feature Timber Wolf, although he continued teaching.