Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Arthur Rankin's career started as a graphic designer in 1948 with the fledgling ABC television network. He soon worked his way up to art director at ABC and, along with a staff of thirty people, worked on the live television shows Tales of Tomorrow, Schlitz Playhouse and many other important live shows of the day. In fact, he was the art director on the infamous Tales of Tomorrow show in which guest star Lon Chaney Jr. (in a Frankenstein role) failed to break the prop furniture during the live broadcast... because he thought it was a rehearsal! He went on to win an art direction award in 1950, and again in 1951.

Gradually breaking into doing commercials for the leading agencies of the day, Rankin left ABC in 1952 to start his own company. One account that he had in his care was A&P, through an agency called Gardner Advertising. Gardner had a fellow in their mailroom who would bring materials to Rankin's studio, and later became his partner, Jules Bass. Rankin says,"Our intention was to combine his advertising know-how with my television and artistic know-how." Thus, a partnership began that lasted thirty-five years. Rankin and Bass were seldom seen together. While one would take care of the business end of Rankin/Bass, the other would be working on a production. Each could and would do both during their relationship. Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Peter Bakalian have continued the Production company of RANKIN/BASS into the Millenium. A few years back they paired up with MORGAN CREEK Entertainment and Produced the animated feature film THE KING AND I (Warner Bros.). It continued to do big buisness in the home video and DVD market. With many projects in development, the year 2001 will see the return of RANKIN/BASS on the small screen with the Cel-Animated Special SANTA BABY on the FOX NETWORK. This is the first African American Christmas Special in this genre and features Eartha Kitt doing a remake of her classic song decades later! Mr. Rankin has also recently directed plays in Bermuda and teaches film courses there.

ARTHUR RANKIN, JR. May, 2001 shows off two of his most famous 'ANIMAGIC' creations in Bermuda. Fresh from Producing and Directing the play Crystal Clear , written by Paul Young, Arthur was pleased by the audiences' response and reviews.


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