- Kathy Merlock Jackson
Avery, Tex (26 February 1908–26 August 1980), director of animated films, was born Frederick Bean Avery in Taylor, Texas. Little is known about his family, except that he was a lineal descendant of Judge Roy Bean, from whom his middle name was derived. Interested in art as a youth, Avery took a three-month summer course in art taught by professional newspaper cartoonists at the Chicago Art Institute a year before graduating, in June 1927, from North Dallas High School, where he was a cartoonist for the yearbook and drew a cartoon strip. Two years later, he headed to California seeking a position as a comic strip artist. Finding no opportunities in that field, he took a job in the inking and painting department at the Walter Lantz Studio, which was producing Oswald the Rabbit cartoons. Remaining at the studio from 1930 to 1935, he painted cartoon backgrounds, worked as an in-betweener completing sequences to bridge the key drawings produced by the animators, wrote gags and stories, and directed two cartoons, although without screen credit....