Pink Panther Hits 35

The swingingest cat of them all is 35 years old this week. Monday, April 12, marks the birthday of The Pink Panther. The urbane feline made his first appearance in the Blake Edwards comedy of the same name back in 1964.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio is celebrating the Panther's birthday this year, which coincides with MGM's 75th anniversary. The Pink Panther has been the subject of several sequels, including 1975's Return of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again in 1976, and The Revenge of the Pink Panther in 1978.

The Trail of the Pink Panther appeared in 1982, followed by The Curse of the Pink Panther the next year. In 1993, this year's winner of the Best Director Academy Award, Roberto Benigni, starred in Son of the Pink Panther.

Created by Friz Freleng and David DePatie, the Panther is one of the most enduring characters in the entertainment business. In 1964, the Pink Panther's first animated short film, The pink Phink, won an Oscar. From 1968 to 1973, the pink one was the star of a long-running Saturday-morning cartoon show on NBC. A further 36 episodes of the show ran on ABC in 1973.

In 1982, MGM/UA Television put 176 Pink Panther cartoon shorts into syndication, covering virtually every market in the United States. In 1993, The New Pink Panther show debuted. This series' 60 episodes currently air on the Cartoon Network in the US and in 56 other countries around the world.