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Biography: Laverne Harding

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Birth: Oct. 10, 1905
Death: Sept. 29, 1984.


Bio Summary

By 1932 Harding had settled in Los Angeles and was a student at the Chouinard Art Institute. For 26 years she worked for Walter Lantz Productions. She won an Annie Award for animation in 1980

Early Life/Family

Mr. John B. , and Mrs. Pearle W. Harding moved to 1346 W. 89th St. Los Angeles, California from Shreveport, Louisiana with their children: William, Marjorie, Muriel and Emily La Verne in 1911.


La Verne attended Chouinard from 1930-1932. During that time she was a member of the Delta Kappa Sorority and attended society events such as an evenings entertainment at the home of Miss Vivian Whitehead of Hollywood for vacation photo and film viewing.

Career Outline

Syndicated cartoonist, “Cynical Susie” Los Angeles Daily News 1931. United Feature Syndicate, Inc. 1932-1934
Animator, 1934-1960 Universal, Walt Lantz Studios
Animator, 1960-1970 Warner Bros., Filmation, and Hanna Barbera Studios.

Comments On Style

She had a cute rounded cartooning style. Harding’s secret to success was her effort to draw “boldly”
like other men animators of the time.


Laverne worked with many influencial associates including: Walt Lantz, Bill Nolan, Tex Avery, George Grandpre, Virgil Ross, Burt Gillett, Alex Lovey and Preston Blair.


La Verne had a quiet manner and was passive during story sessions. She lived a conservative, religious life and never married.


When Walt Lantz learned of her death he remarked “most producers thought women could draw only birds and bees and flowers. They were wrong of course.”


Although Harding has been considered the first woman animator, that title should be given to Lillian Friedman, who in 1933 began working for Fleisher’s studios, 1 year before LaVerne was hired at Universal


Wolf, Wolf (1934) (animator) (as Verne Harding)
Bronco Buster (1935) (animator)
Barnyard Five (1936) (animator)
Unpopular Mechanic (1936) (animator)
The Golfers (1937) (animator)
Country Store (1937) (animator)
Air Express (1937) (animator)
Movie Phony News (1938) (animator)
Barnyard Romeo (1938) (animator)
Little Blue Blackbird (1938) (animator)
Slapphappy Valley (1939) (animator)
Kittens’ Mittens (1940) (animator)
Hysterical High Spots in American History (1941) (animator)
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company ‘B’ (1941) (animator)
Goodbye Mr. Moth (1942) (animator)
Juke Box Jamboree (1942) (animator)
The Screwball (1943) (animator)
Canine Commandos (1943) (animator)
Boogie Woogie Man Will Get You If You Don’t Watch Out (1943) (animator)
The Barber of Seville (1944) (animator)
Jungle Jive (1944) (animator)
Fish Fry (1944) (animator)
Pied Piper of Basin Street (1945) (animator)
The Loose Nut (1945) (animator)
Musical Moments from Chopin (1946) (animator) ?… aka Chopin’s Musical Moments ?… aka Musical Moments (USA: video box title)
Apple Andy (1946) (animator)
Bathing Buddies (1946) (animator) (uncredited)
Fair Weather Fiends (1946) (animator)
The Wacky Weed (1946) (animator)
The Coo Coo Bird (1947) (animator) (uncredited)
Overture to William Tell (1947) (animator)
Woody, the Giant Killer (1947) (animator) ?… aka The Giant Killer (USA: 8mm release title)
The Bandmaster (1948) (animator) (as Verne Harding)
Pixie Picnic (1948) (animator)
Dog Tax Dodgers (1948) (animator)
Scrappy Birthday (1949) (animator)
Puny Express (1951) (animator)
Sleep Happy (1951) (animator)
Wicket Wacky (1951) (animator)
Slingshot 6-7/8 (1951) (animator)
Redwood Sap (1951) (animator)
Woody Woodpecker Polka (1951) (animator)
Destination Meatball (1951) (animator)
Born to Peck (1952) (animator)
Stage Hoax (1952) (animator)
Woodpecker in the Rough (1952) (animator)
Scalp Treatment (1952) (animator)
The Great Who Dood It (1952) (animator)
Termites from Mars (1952) (animator)
Operation Sawdust (1953) (animator)
Wrestling Wrecks (1953) (animator)
The Hypnotic Hick (1953) (animator)
Hot Noon or 12 O’Clock for Sure (1953) (animator) ?… aka Hot Noon (USA)
Chilly Willy (1953) (animator)
Crazy Mixed Up Pup (1954) (animator) ?… aka Crazy Mixed-up Pup (USA)
A Horse’s Tale (1954) (animator)
Hay Rube (1954) (animator)
Pig in a Pickle (1954) (animator) ?… aka Piggy That Stayed Home (USA)
Real Gone Woody (1954) (animator)
I’m Cold (1954) (animator)
Helter Shelter (1955) (animator)
The Legend of Rockabye Point (1955) (animator) ?… aka Legend of Rock-A-Bye Point (USA: video box title) ?… aka The Rock-a-Bye Legend (USA: reissue title)
Sh-h-h-h-h-h (1955) (animator)
Hot and Cold Penguin (1955) (animator)
The Tree Medic (1955) (animator)
Pigeon Holed (1956) (animator)
The Ostrich Egg and I (1956) (animator)
Room and Wrath (1956) (animator)
Woodpecker from Mars (1956) (animator)
Hold That Rock (1956) (animator)
Operation Cold Feet (1956) (animator)
To Catch a Woodpecker (1957) (animator)
“The Woody Woodpecker Show” (1957) TV Series (animator)
The Big Snooze (1957) (animator)
Fowled-Up Party (1957) (animator)
Watch the Birdie (1958) (animator)
A Chilly Reception (1958) (animator)
Three-Ring Fling (1958) (animator)
Little Televillain (1958) (animator)
Witty Kitty (1959) (animator)
Robinson Gruesome (1959) (animator)
Yukon Have It (1959) (animator)
Woodpecker in the Moon (1959) (animator)
“Quick Draw McGraw” (1959) TV Series (animator)
Mouse Trapped (1959) (animator)
Pistol Packin’ Woodpecker (1960) (animator) ?
How to Stuff a Woodpecker (1960) (animator)
Freeloading Feline (1960) (animator)
Bats in the Belfry (1960) (animator)
Fish Hooked (1960) (animator)
Fowled Up Falcon (1960) (animator)
“The Yogi Bear Show” (1961) TV Series (animator) (as La Verne Harding)
Rough and Tumble-Weed (1961) (animator)
Eggnapper (1961) (animator)
The Bird Who Came to Dinner (1961) (animator)
Gabby’s Diner (1961) (animator)
The Pink Phink (1964) (animator) ?… aka Blake Edwards’ The Pink Panther: The Pink Phink (USA)
Pink Pajamas (1964) (animator)
We Give Pink Stamps (1965) (animator)
The Wild Chase (1965) (animator)
Dial ‘P’ for Pink (1965) (animator)
Moby Duck (1965) (animator)
Sink Pink (1965) (animator)
Assault and Peppered (1965) (animator)
Pickled Pink (1965) (animator)
Shocking Pink (1965) (animator)
Pinkfinger (1965) (animator)
Well Worn Daffy (1965) (animator)
Pink Ice (1965) (animator)
The Pink Tail Fly (1965) (animator)
Pink Panzer (1965) (animator)
An Ounce of Pink (1965) (animator)
Reel Pink (1965) (animator)
Pink Punch (1966) (animator)
Pink Pistons (1966) (animator)
Vitamin Pink (1966) (animator)
Pink, Plunk, Plink (1966) (animator)
The Pink Blueprint (1966) (animator)
Smile Pretty, Say Pink (1966) (animator)
Pink-A-Boo (1966) (animator)
“The Road Runner Show” (1966) TV Series (animator)
The Genie with the Light Pink Fur (1966) (animator)
Super Pink (1966) (animator)
That’s No Lady, That’s Notre Dame (1966) (animator)
Rock-a-Bye Pinky (1966) (animator)
Pinknic (1967) (animator)
Pink Panic (1967) (animator)
Speedy Ghost to Town (1967) (animator)
Rodent to Stardom (1967) (animator)
Go Away Stowaway (1967) (animator)
Cool Cat (1967) (animator)
Merlin the Magic Mouse (1967) (animator)
Fiesta Fiasco (1967) (animator) ?… aka The Rain Maker
Hocus Pocus Powwow (1968) (animator)
Norman Normal (1968) (animator)
Big Game Haunt (1968) (animator)
Skyscraper Caper (1968) (animator)
Hippydrome Tiger (1968) (animator)
Feud with a Dude (1968) (animator) (as La Verne Harding)
See Ya Later Gladiator (1968) (animator)
3 Ring Wing-Ding (1968) (animator)
Flying Circus (1968) (animator)
Chimp & Zee (1968) (animator)
Bunny and Claude: We Rob Carrot Patches (1968) (animator)
The Great Carrot-Train Robbery (1969) (animator)
Fistic Mystic (1969) (animator)
Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too! (1969) (animator) (as La Verne Harding)
Shamrock and Roll (1969) (animator)
Bugged by a Bee (1969) (animator)
“The Pink Panther Show” (1969) TV Series (animator) ?… aka The New Pink Panther Show (USA: third season title) ?… aka The Pink Panther Meets the Ant and the Aardvark (USA: second season title)
Injun Trouble (1969) (animator)
“Archie’s Fun House” (1970) TV Series (animato
“Star Trek” (1973) TV Series (animator) ?… aka Star Trek: TAS (USA: promotional abbreviation) ?… aka Star Trek: The Animated Adventures (USA) ?… aka Star Trek: The Animated Series ?… aka The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry’s
“The Pink Panther Laugh and the Half Hour and Half Show” (1976) TV Series (animator)
The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show” (1986) TV Series (animator)
“Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends” (1990) TV Series (animator)


Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1980

Related Links 

The Walt Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia

Bibliographic References

Klein, Atom, “La Verne Harding: Hollywood’s First Woman Animator”, Animation Journal, Spring 1994 pgs. 54-67.

Solomon, Charles, “Animators Honored With Annie Awards”, Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Nov. 1, 1980; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881-1985) pg. C15.

Obituaries, LA Times Dec. 15, 1974; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times, (1881-1985) pg. C-6.

Obituaries, LA Times Aug. 23, 1936; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times, (1881-1985) pg. A-8.

Obituary 12, LA Times Sep.29, 1984; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times, (1881-1985) pg. OC_A16.


Contributors To This Listing

Melanie Donegan

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