BOSTON (AP) — 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.
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 a 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 wrote for publications including TV Guide, Family Circle and Reader's Digest, and wrote several novels, including "The Man Inside" and "Hold Back the Tide."
Funeral arrangements will be private. A memorial service is planned for a later date.