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The Pink Panther

Animated Character

Born: 1964
Birthplace: The Movies
Best known as:

Star of the Pink Panther cartoon series

The Pink Panther is the sly, lanky animated cat created by Friz Freleng and David DePatie. Often harried but rarely ruffled, the skinny feline was first created for the opening titles of the live-action film The Pink Panther (1964), which starred Peter Sellers as a bumbling French policeman pursuing an exotic diamond called the Pink Panther. The animated titles were so popular that DePatie and Freleng immediately set to work on a series of animated shorts, in the vein of Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse, starring the animated cat. (The cartoons were unrelated to the live-action film and its diamond.) The Pink Panther cartoons had no dialogue, but were backed by variations on Henry Mancini's slithery, saxophone-y Pink Panther theme (also from the original film). In the 1970s the Pink Panther acquired his own Saturday-morning TV show and all the other trappings of cartoon stardom. Several sequels to the original live-action film also were made, and the two Pink Panthers ran in parallel universes for more than 15 years.

Extra credit:

The Pink Panther appeared in a long-running series of ads for Owens Corning insulation... The first Pink Panther short, Pink Phink, was released late in 1964 and won an Oscar as the year's best animated short.

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More on Pink Panther from Infoplease:

  • The Pink Panther - Biography of The Pink Panther, Star of the Pink Panther cartoon series
  • The Pink Panther - Starring Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Beyonce Knowles, Kevin Kline, William Abadie
  • Return of the Pink Panther - Starring Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Catherine Schell, Herbert Lom, Peter Arne
  • Son of the Pink Panther - Starring Roberto Benigni, Herbert Lom, Claudia Cardinale, Shabana Azmi, Debrah Farentino
  • The Pink Panther 2 - Starring Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Andy Garcia, Yuki Matsuzaki
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