Underdog Creator, W. Watt Biggers, Dies
Playthings Staff -- Gifts & Dec, February 28, 2013
MANOMET, MA - William Watt Biggers, the co-creator of the 1960s "Underdog" cartoon and its theme song, died February 10th, 2013 in Manomet, MA. He was 85.
Born in Avondale Estates, GA, Biggers attended North Georgia Military College and went on to Emory University Law School before moving to New York City to pursue his dream of becoming a pianist and songwriter. Biggers' career took off when he landed a job at the advertising firm Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in the early 1960s, and worked his way up from mailroom clerk to vice president. He and copywriter, Chet Stover, came up with the character of Underdog to help advertise General Mills breakfast cereals. Biggers also created the famous theme song Voiced by Wally Cox, the shoe shining, superhero dog was born, and the animated series initially debuted on NBC on October 3, 1964 and aired through 1973; a live action movie starring Jason Lee as the voice of Underdog was released in 2007. Today, the show is syndicated worldwide.
Biggers later left the agency and formed his own animation studio Total TeleVision (TTV), which created and produced "King Leonardo and his Short Subjects," "The Hunter," "Tooter Turtle," "Tennessee Tuxedo and his Tales," "Go Go Gophers," "The World of Commander McBragg," "Klondike Kat" and "Underdog." Biggers co-wrote more than 500 scripts and composed all theme songs, words and music for these series. Biggers later became vice president of promotion and creative services for NBC, where he worked until 1984.
Biggers is survived by companion, Nancy Purbeck; daughter, Victoria; son, W. Watts Jr.; brother, Bascom III; and Purbeck's two children and four grandchildren.
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