Long Lived Characters

Nat Case ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Thu Mar 18 01:34:03 EST 2004

Long lives in other media:

Given the one-author rule, here are a few 
very-long-running comic strips, generally with a 
continuing cast of more than one character. Only 
one beats Jeeves and Wooster though, and that 
isn't the creator, so I'm not sure it should 
count (If it does, do we count James Bond's 
career with creator Ian Fleming or his longer 
time with filmmaker James Broccoli?).

Barney Google, by Fred Lasswell 1942-2001 (59 
years). Lasswell was not the creator; that was 
Billy DeBeck in 1919.

Beetle Bailey, by Mort Walker 1950-present (54 
years), although the character is based on 
Walker's work of a couple years earlier.

Tintin, by Hergé, 1929-1981 (52 years)

Peanuts, Charles Schultz , Oct 1950-Dec 2000 (50 years)

Ferd'nand, by Henning Dahl Mikkelsen, 1937-1982 (45 years)

Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray 1924-1968 (44 years)

Bringing up Father, by George McManus 1911-1954 (43 years)

Li'l Abner, by Al Capp, 1934-1977 (43 years)

Blondie (originally called "Blondie Boopadoop"), 
1930-1973 (43 years) with creator Chic Young, 
since then by his son Dean Young (cumulatively 74 

Andy Capp, by Reg Smythe, 1957-1998 (41 years)

Gasoline Alley, by Frank King, 1918-1959 (41 
years, and still going strong under his 
successor's successor, 86 years later)

On a related note, Fred Rogers created the Land 
of Make-Believe (including King Friday XIII, Lady 
Elaine Fairchild, and X the Owl) for "the 
Children's Corner" in 1955, and died in 2003: 48 

Jim Henson created Kermit the Frog in 1955, and died in 1990: 45 years.

Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in 1928 and died in 1966: only 38 years

Mel Blanc voiced Porky Pig for over 50 years, 1937 to 1988.

Moe Howard and Larry Fine played two of the Three 
Stooges from 1930 to 1970: 40 years.

The Guinness Records site notes that William 
Roach has played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street 
for 40 years without a break.

Does the same Chrestomanci appear over those 23 
years? I have the feeling Christopher Chant 
appears in most every Chrestomanci story. Anyone?

>Here's a copy of the list in progress from the
>58 years: Jeeves and Wooster (Wodehouse)
>55 years: Hercule Poirot (Christie)
>55 years: The Saint (Charteris)
>53 years: Eliots (Bradbury)
>46 years: Woodrow Wilson Smith (Heinlein)
>43 years: Nero Wolfe (Stout)
>41 years: Hari Seldon (Asimov)
>40 years: Sherlock Holmes (Conan Doyle)
>40 years: Gandalf (Tolkein)
>39 years: Daneel Olivaw (Asimov)
>35 years: Tarzan (Burroughs)
>33 years: Yossarian (Heller)
>28 years: Father Callahan (King)
>25 years: Roland (King)
>20 years: Jack Ryan (Clancy)
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