CORONA DEL MAR, Calif., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning animator Chuck Jones, who drew such classic cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig, died of congestive heart failure at his home in Corona del Mar Friday, according to a statement from his family. He was 89.
Jones worked on more than 300 animated pictures, winning three Oscars and receiving an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1996, the same year he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Directors Guild of America.
In addition to Bugs, Daffy, Elmer and Porky, Jones also drew the Road Runner and his relentless rival, Wile E. Coyote. He also drew Pepe le Pew, the hopelessly romantic skunk with the Charles Boyer accent, and Marvin Martian, the space creature with the Roman centurion style helmet and armor.
Jones produced, directed and wrote the screenplay for the 1966 animated TV version of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas." He and the Grinch's creator, Theodore Geisel, were long-time friends and had collaborated on film projects for the U.S. government during World War II.
Born in 1912 in Spokane, Wash., Jones moved to Hollywood with his family when he was a child and worked as an extra in the burgeoning movie business, frequently appearing in Mac Sennett comedies.
He graduated from Chouinard Art Institute -- now called the California Institute of Arts -- and began to make money with his art right away, sketching pencil portraits for $1 in downtown Los Angeles.
He broke into animation as a cel washer in 1932, going to work for Ub Iwerks, the legendary animator who collaborated with Walt Disney to create Mickey Mouse. He spent some time working as an animator at the Leon Schlesinger Studio, before moving on to Warner Bros. as an animator and director.
Eventually, he took over the Warner Bros. animation department until it was folded in 1962. In the 1960s, working with MGM, Jones supervised a new series of Tom and Jerry cartoons and adapted the children's book "The Dot and the Line" into an Oscar-winning animated short.
As something of an elder statesman in Hollywood in the '80s, Jones mentored younger filmmakers -- leading to a cameo appearance in "Gremlins," made by Jones-fan Joe Dante.
Jones published his autobiography, "Chuck Amuck," in 1989. In 1991 he reached a new deal with Warner Bros. to supervise animation at the studio.
Two of Jones' classic Warner Bros. animated shorts -- "What's Opera, Doc?" (1957) and "Duck Amuck" (1953) -- have been accepted into the U.S. National Film Registry.
Other classic Jones titles included "Rabbit Seasoning" (1952), "Duck Dodgers in the 24th Century" (1953) and "One Froggy Evening" 1955. That picture introduced the character of Michigan J. Frog, which became part of the brand identification for the WB TV network in the 1990s.
In 1996, Jones illustrated -- and his daughter Linda Clough Jones produced -- a new multi-media adaptation of Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolfe." A TV special featuring a blend of live-action and animation, with Kirstie Allie and Lloyd Bridges co-starring in the live-action segments.
Jones is survived by his wife, Marian, daughter Linda (by his first wife, Dorothy Webster), a brother, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.