Our Fun Friend, Bob Ogle

He was a talented guy and a good friend. You can’t believe how delighted I was to find this color photograph taken back in 1957 at the Walt Disney Studio in Burbank. I had just gotten to know Bob Ogle and he would remain a friend and colleague until his untimely passing some years ago. Sadly, we lost Bob while he was still at the top of his game. The former Disney artist had made the move to writing and eventually became an amazing story editor and creator of a number of funny televisions shows you probably watched when you were a kid. There was little doubt Bob Ogle was a talented guy.

We were still hard at work on Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty when I snapped this color photograph in G-Wing. Bob had rejoined us in animation after a brief stint in the story department. Though he was somewhat disappointed, Bob took it all in stride. Artists were needed for the massive amount of work needed to be done on Sleeping Beauty, so Bob was sent back down to animation. However, Bob Ogle wanted to be a writer and had his heart set on a position in Disney’s story department. However, story positions were not easy to come by. Even if you did get a shot at working in the coveted department, there was no guarantee the gig would last. Believe or not, Bob Ogle was blessed with another talent. He was a gifted voice actor as well. Somehow, Bob had managed to convince a few of the Disney directors to allow him to do cartoon voices. Always looking for a bargain, the Disney bosses allowed Ogle to voice a few minor characters for their television shows. Naturally, Bob was not compensated for the voice jobs. He was simply paid his regular Disney salary for the extra time he put in. No matter. Bob was convinced he would be recognized eventually.

Sadly, that recognition never materialize at the Walt Disney Studios, so in the sixties Bob Ogle, like so many animation artists, made his way over to a new studio called, Hanna-Barbera. It was at H-B that Bob Ogle was finally given an opportunity to become a writer of Saturday Morning Television. In time, He became a story editor and guided us through a series of successful animated television shows. I was lucky to work with Bob on a number of Hanna-Barbera shows along with my pal, Scott Shaw! Bob was always a delightful guy and very, very funny. However, the pressure of Saturday Morning Television was becoming relentless and I feared the affect it was having on a guy as sweet and nice as Bob Ogle. Some editors were able to deal with the insane demands of the networks and the studios and managed to roll with the punches. However, keep in mind these were killer schedules and I do not exaggerate when I say the schedules were probably meant to kill.

Perhaps he was trying to escape the madness of network television, so Bob eventually made the move across town to DePatie-Freleng. I would often visit Bob Ogle at his new digs and even met Bob’s new boss, the legendary Friz Freleng. On occasion, I managed to talk Bob into doing a funny voice for one of our animated cartoons. Ogle was nice enough to take time away from his big time job to voice a cartoon character for our little company. That’s the kind of guy he was. Always ready to do a friend a favor. It wasn’t about the money - it was about the friendships he had made.

I last saw Bob Ogle at a mall not far from the studio. He was the same fun, smiling guy as always, but I sensed the pressure of work was beginning to get to him. Yet, there was nothing about his manner that suggested any health problems. It came as a shock when we received word that Bob Ogle had suddenly suffered a massive stroke and passed away. To this day, I can still hear the funny voices Bob would do for us. I still remember his delightful, charming sense of humor. He was a talented gagman, writer, artist and voice actor. Bob Ogle, in many ways was animation, and the cartoon business is all the poorer for having lost him.

The multi-talented Bob Ogle at his desk at the Walt Disney Studio. This photo was taken during the production of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty back in 1957.

The multi-talented Bob Ogle at his desk at the Walt Disney Studio. This photo was taken during the production of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty back in 1957.