Along with Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny was the most enduring American cartoon character of the 20th century. The acknowledged star of the Warner Brothers cartoon menagerie, Bugs was a cocky, wisecracking, good-hearted hare who battled Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck and other slapstick nemeses in dozens of animated short films. Bugs's debut as a star was the 1940 short A Wild Hare, where he first uttered his trademark line, "What's up, Doc?" Credit for the Bugs Bunny character generally goes to Tex Avery, who developed a preliminary character created by fellow animator Ben "Bugs" Hardaway. (Many of the later Bugs Bunny cartoons were directed by Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones; the voice of Bugs was provided by Mel Blanc.) The shorts remain popular in TV reruns.
Many fans consider the birthday of Bugs Bunny to be 27 July 1940 — the premiere date of A Wild Hare… The 1958 cartoon Knighty Knight, Bugs won the Academy Award for animation… The Warner Brothers cartoons are collectively known as “Looney Tunes”… Bugs co-starred with Michael Jordan in the 1996 feature film Space Jam.