Joseph Roland “Joe” Barbera (March 24, 1911 – December 18, 2006) was an Italian-American animator.
Barbera co-founded Hanna-Barbera, director, producer, storyboard artist, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of fans worldwide for much of the 20th century.
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. (also known at various times as H-B Enterprises, H-B Production Company and Hanna-Barbera Cartoons) was an American animation studio that dominated American television animation for nearly three decades in the mid-to-late 20th century. It was formed in 1957 by former MGM animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (creators of Tom and Jerry) and live-action director George Sidney in partnership with Columbia Pictures’ Screen Gems television division. The company was sold to Taft Broadcasting in late 1966, and spent the next two decades as a subsidiary of the parent and its successors.
Over the years, Hanna-Barbera produced many successful animated shows, including The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, and The Smurfs, earning eight Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other merits. The company’s fortunes declined in the mid-eighties after the profitability of Saturday morning cartoons was eclipsed by weekday afternoon syndication. Hanna-Barbera was purchased from Taft (by then named Great American Broadcasting) in late 1991 by Turner Broadcasting System, who used much of its back catalog to program its new channel, Cartoon Network.