Barry Meyer, Warner Bros chairman, said in a statement: "The characters he created with his late partner William Hanna are not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture. While he will be missed by his family and friends, Joe will live on through his work."

 

Enduring partnership

 

Barbera met Hanna, who died in 2001, at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio in 1937. They first worked together on the cartoon Puss Gets the Boot which led to the creation of famous cat and mouse friends, Tom and Jerry.

 

The Flintstones was one of Hanna-Barbera's
biggest hits [AP]
In 1945, their animated characters Tom and Jerry danced alongside Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh.

 

Barbera, the animator, and Hanna, the director, left MGM in the 1950s when the studio shut down its cartoon unit believing TV would eventually end animation on film screens.

 

The pair formed Hanna-Barbera Studios in 1957, and went on to create characters such as the Flintstones, the Jetsons, Scooby-Doo and Yogi Bear.

 

Hit series

 

The Flintstones became the first animated TV series to air on prime time US television, the first to feature animated human characters and the first to run beyond the standard six or seven-minute format. Its cartoons still air in more than 80 countries around the world.

 

In the 1970s, the pair's Scooby-Doo character became a hit. The TV series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? was produced for 17 years and was later made into a film.

 

Over the years, Hanna-Barbera won numerous Emmys, US television's highest awards, and in 1994 the duo were elected to the US-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame.

 

Barbera is survived by his wife and three children from a previous marriage.