California Animator Art Clokey, whose bendable creation Gumby became a pop culture phenomenon through decades of toys, revivals and satires, died Friday. He was 88.
Clokey died in his sleep at his home in Los Osos on California’s Central Coast, his son Joseph told the Los Angeles Times.
Gumby grew out of a student project Clokey produced at the University of Southern California in the early 1950s called “Gumbasia.”
That led to his making shorts featuring Gumby and his horse friend Pokey for the “Howdy Doody Show” and several series through the years.
He said he based Gumby’s swooping head on the cowlick hairdo of his father, who died in a car accident when Clokey was a boy. And Clokey’s wife suggested he give Gumby the body of a gingerbread man.