Paul Maher was born in 1952 in Whittier California, one of 4 brothers.
A precocious kid and a fan of cartoons and animation,
at the age of 12, he was able meet his idol Walt Disney and get his
autograph at a Rose Parade event.
A gifted mimic and actor, Paul grew up performing puppet shows
with his 3 brothers and mother Mary.
As a teenager, Paul was hired
by the Movieland Wax Museum to entertain visitors as Charlie Chaplin.
A while later he was hired by Walter Knott to perform puppet shows for thousands at Knott's Berry Farm.
During many summers, he performed at the Renaissance Fair doing puppet show and
selling his handmade ball game toys.
At the age of 19, Paul was hired by Sid and Marty Krofft to perform
in their Las Vegas puppet extravaganza starring Raquel Welch.
Paul also had stints as a artist for Walt Disney, and helped design and build floats for
Disney's 1976 "America On Parade" show.
In 1978 he landed his dream job, working for 6 years at Hanna-Barbera studios.
While there, he founded their Animation Archive and Research Library.
All the while, Paul collected memorabilia from children's TV shows
in the hopes of creating a museum dedicated to children's television.
In 1981, while doing research on Walt Disney, Paul located and purchased the original garage where
Walt Disney started his first studio, just before it was to be demolished.
Paul also rented out the house, and held many art shows and sales there.
He later sold the garage to a Disney fan group called "The Friends of Walt Disney" which donated it
to the Garden Grove Historical Society where it is today.
In 1980 and 1987 he created the Festival of Children's Television.
Bringing the stars and artists of animation past
together to raise money for charity.
Paul was an early member of Hollywood Heritage, a Hollywood history preservation group,
and video taped hundreds of Hollywood
events and interviews with stars and industry players.
Paul, also an avid vintage car collector, purchased one of the original 1949 Buick Roadmasters
used in the 1989 film "Rainman" as well other classic vehicles
In 1981 Paul went to work for Walter Lantz, the creator of Woody Woodpecker, as his personal manager.
He helped Walter and Gracie in their later years with personal appearances,
and a Woody Woodpecker exhibit and store at Universal Studios.
At the age of 40, Paul suffered an aortic aneurysm that sidelined his bigger dreams of creating a Museum.
In 1990 Paul received a artificial heart valve implant performed by legendary heart Surgeon Robert Debakey
at Methodist Hospital in Houston.
In declining health, Paul spent his last two decades as a resident of Burbank and
Hollywood, where he would regale visitors in his apartment with stories of his Hollywood adventures.
In 2010, Paul and his collection were featured on an episode of Scifi network's Hollywood Treasure
Paul passed away on January 31st 2014 at his home in Los Angeles with his cat Wendy at his side.
It was his dream that his collection would one day become a museum.
This web site is dedicated to Paul, and continues that dream.
A very interesting blog about Paul's life from Animation Writer
Mark Evanier, who he worked with at Hanna Barbera
Paul Maher, R.I.P.
Paul Maher in the press:
all photos and characters under copyright of their respective studios.