TODAY'S PAPER
76° Good Morning
76° Good Morning
Long IslandObituaries

'Underdog' co-creator William Watts Biggers dies

BOSTON -- William Watts Biggers, the co-creator of the cartoon "Underdog," the mild-mannered canine shoeshine boy who turned into a caped superhero to rescue his girlfriend, Sweet Polly Purebred, has died. He was 85.

Biggers, who went by "Buck," died unexpectedly at his Plymouth, Mass., home on Sunday, a family friend said.

The native of Avondale Estates, Ga., worked for the New York City advertising firm DFS when he accepted an assignment from the agency's largest client, General Mills, to create television cartoons to promote its breakfast cereals. The most famous was "Underdog," which debuted on NBC in 1964.

The canine superhero, voiced by comic actor Wally Cox, also battled villains, including mad scientist Simon Bar Sinister and gangster wolf Riff Raff.

Upon hearing the cries of Sweet Polly Purebred, Underdog would rush into a telephone booth and transform into the hero. He spoke in simple rhymes, his most famous probably, "There's no need to fear, Underdog is here."

Biggers also helped create "King Leonardo and His Short Subjects" and "Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales."

The family said Biggers "delighted in the enduring appeal of his 'Underdog' franchise," including the balloon that appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the 2007 live-action film.

Latest Long Island News