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Arthur Rankin dies at 89; created TV's 'Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer'
Arthur Rankin dies at 89; created TV's 'Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer'

More than five decades ago, Arthur Rankin Jr., a producer-director working in stop-motion animation, had an idea to develop a family-oriented TV special around a popular Christmas song. He hoped a network would like it enough to run it two or three times. But when "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" aired in 1964, he and partner Jules Bass found they had a blockbuster — one that launched them into TV history as pioneers of the animated holiday special. Fifty years later, "Rudolph," with its catchy tunes and charmingly misfit characters, remains the longest-running Christmas TV special, "one of only four 1960s Christmas specials still being telecast," according to the Archive of American...

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