Paul Julian
Paul Hull Julian

(1914-06-25)June 25, 1914
Illinois, U.S.
DiedSeptember 5, 1995(1995-09-05) (aged 81)
Occupation(s)Animator, artist, voice actor
Years active1939–1992
Employer(s)Warner Bros. Cartoons (1939–1941; 1945–1951)
UPA (1941–1945; 1951–1955)
Hanna-Barbera (1964–1968; 1974–1991)
Sanrio (1978)
Ruby-Spears (1983–1984)
Known forVoice of the Road Runner

Paul Hull Julian (June 25, 1914 – September 5, 1995) was an American background animator, sound effects artist and voice actor for Warner Bros. Cartoons. He worked on Looney Tunes short films, primarily on director Friz Freleng's Sylvester and Tweety Bird shorts.

During his time at Warner, Julian also provided the vocal effects of the Road Runner. His warm and tightly-cropped urban scenes were also featured early in his career in the Bugs Bunny film Baseball Bugs (1946), and in the crime syndicate-themed Daffy Duck film Golden Yeggs (1950). Julian also created New Deal murals in California. Julian died in Van Nuys, California, at the age of 81.

Life and career

Study for Julian's mural Orange Picking (1942), commissioned by the Section of Painting and Sculpture for the post office in Fullerton, California[1]

Julian was born on June 25, 1914, in Illinois. In October 1939, he landed a job in Los Angeles as layout and background artist at Leon Schlesinger's animation studio, "Termite Terrace".[2][3] Two years later, he was one of the early staff members of UPA. In 1945, he returned to Warner Bros Cartoons, where he was mainly assigned primarily to Friz Freleng's unit, he became highly regarded for his colourful, modernist city-scape paintings for Sylvester and Tweety cartoons, as well as for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck shorts.[2]

Julian worked on New Deal mural projects all around Southern California prior to beginning his career in Hollywood. In 1942 his mural Orange Picking was created for the interior of the Fullerton, California, post office. That year he also created a WPA mural for the Upland Elementary School in Upland, California,[4] at the side of the school auditorium. Though faded, the murals are in decent shape. Julian used a technique called petrachrome that utilized 24 different colors of marble to complete the mural's four panels. The mural inside the Fullerton Post Office is in excellent condition.[3]

Later, while working at Warner Brothers as a background artist, Julian provided the Road Runner's "Beep-Beep!" sound.[2] Julian first made the sound in the hallway on the Warner Bros. studio lot. He imitated a car horn to signal to get people out of his way when he was in a hurry with a large painting. The sound was picked up by director Chuck Jones and it was used in the first Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner short Fast and Furry-ous in 1949. It was sped up by editor Treg Brown.[5][3] These recordings are still in use in modern Looney Tunes media.

Julian directed the animated films Baby Boogie (1955) for UPA, and The Hangman (1964), which was produced by Les Goldman. The Hangman, garnered over 15 international film festival awards. He also was a background and production designer for Hanna-Barbera and for the 1978 anime fantasy Winds of Change, based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. Julian also had a long working relationship with Roger Corman providing artwork for many of his movies, including Dementia 13 and The Terror.[2][3]

Julian was still working as an artist when he died in Van Nuys, California, in 1995.[3]

Partial filmography

Background artist



  1. ^ "Orange Picking (mural study for Fullerton, California Post Office)". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Lenburg, Jeff (2006). Who's who in animated cartoons : an international guide to film & television's award-winning and legendary animators. Applause. p. 169. ISBN 9781557836717.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Fullerton Heritage Views & Tours-The Fullerton Post Office". Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Upland Elementary School Murals – Upland CA". The Living New Deal. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  5. ^ Barrier, Michael (1999). Hollywood cartoons : American animation in its golden age. Oxford University Press. p. 495. ISBN 9780195167290.