‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ writer dies a 81
BEVERLY HILLS, California – Chris Hayward, an Emmy-winning television writer who helped develop the bumbling animated Canadian Mountie Dudley Do-Right and other offbeat characters for the Rocky and Bullwinkle TV show, has died. He was 81.
Hayward died of cancer Nov. 20 at this Beverly Hills home, his wife, Linda, told the Los Angeles Times in Sunday editions.
Hayward contributed satire, wordplay and puns for “Rocky and His Friends,” a witty cartoon that built a large adult following. The show debuted on ABC in 1959 and was renamed “The Bullwinkle Show” when it moved to NBC in 1961.
Besides its titular flying squirrel and moose, the hit show featured segments including Mr. Peabody, a time-traveling dog with a boy companion, and Dudley, a klutzy hero always in pursuit of his nemesis Snidely Whiplash.
The first episode Hayward co-wrote for the two lead characters was “Rue Britannia,” according to “The Moose That Roared” (2000), a history of the show. In the episode, Bullwinkle has to stay in the Abominable Manor in England.
“Shucks, I’ve been livin’ in an abominable manner all my life!” the moose says.
Jay Ward, whose studio produced the show, gave very little instruction to Hayward when it came to reinventing the Do-Right character, which had been around since the late 1940s.
“It’s about a stupid Mountie. Just have fun!” Hayward recalled.
The character was voiced by Bill Scott, who also was the voice behind Bullwinkle.
With partner Allan Burns, Hayward later helped create “The Munsters,” and in 1968 the pair received an Emmy for their work on the CBS sitcom “He & She.”
Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Hayward moved to Los Angeles at age 17. He took a night class in scriptwriting at a local high school and went into television in the 1950s. He worked on “Crusader Rabbit,” the first cartoon show created specifically for television, as well as “Get Smart,” “My Mother the Car” and “Barney Miller.”
In addition to his wife, Hayward is survived by his children, Laurel, Victoria and Tony, from a previous marriage that ended in divorce.