1904 – 2000
Who was Irving Phillips?
Irving Walter Phillips was a noted American cartoonist, playwright, television scriptwriter, author, illustrator and educator who is best remembered for his daily newspaper comic panel The Strange World of Mr. Mum.
Born in Wilton, Wisconsin, Phillips began his career in show business as a violinist at the age of 17. He also played the saxophone and led his own orchestras. Phillips studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and freelanced cartoons to 36 different magazines during the Great Depression. He eventually became head of the humor staff for Esquire in the late 1930s.
For television, Phillips wrote or co-wrote more than 250 scripts, including a first-season episode of The Ruggles, one of the earliest family sitcoms on American television. He scripted plays for Matinee Theater, the afternoon anthology series telecast daily on NBC. Phillips provided scripts and animation art for the American Broadcasting Company children's program Curiosity Shop.
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