Hector Heathcote is a young, teenage Patriot whom lived in the time of America's War of Independence created by Eli Bauer and Ralph Bakshi. He is quite the bumbling goof up, yet no matter how badly he's mess up, things would always turn out right in the end due to his strangely good luck.
Created with the hope of perhaps being their next big star and voiced by John Myers, Hector first appeared in the short "The Minute and a Half Man", released in July 18, 1959. Hector's creation is attributed to writer Eli Bauer, whose credits also include 1940s cartoons from Famous Studios and MGM and Ralph Bakshi. The director for many of his short was Dave Tendlar, a veteran animator whose work went back to the Fleischer days.
Hector would always appear as an unsung hero of american history, pretty much all of his shorts would start out with a narrator speaking of how many important figures in history are not remembered today, then we would be shown how Hector stumbled his way into helping america's development, and then the narrator would speak of how Hector somehow, tho, posterity neglected to note his many pivotal roles, and he remained unknown to students of history — except, of course, those who saw his cartoons. For instance, in just the early shorts he built the boat that enabled Washington to cross the Delaware, prepared Paul Revere's horse for his famous ride
The character appeared in a few more TerryToon productions over the next few years, as the shorts went on things changed, now instead of only ever being shown in the War for Independence era, he was a part of many other moments in history like the Klondike gold rush, Christopher Columbus' sail to America, and the old west, where was similarly instrumental in setting the stage for any number of other notable non-stop events.
At first the character had a very quiet, almost child sounding voice, as the cartoons whet on however John soon settled on a more natural sounding way of speaking, which he used for the rest of the series.
Soon a new character was added, for the longest time Hector would come across a variety of superiors who had a disliking for him serving as straight men, as well as many different villains. However beginning with the short "A Bell for Philadelphia" a stable villain was introduced named Benedict to fill in all of these antagonistic roles, his name and voice parodied the infamous American traitor Benedict Arnold, the character was always a bully to Hector, he openly acknowledged the fact that he was a jerk and seem to be very proud of it, always cheating and double crossing.
Soon after another character was added starting with Search for a Symbol, Hector was often accompanied by his faithful red-and-yellow talking dog Winston, who was far more suited for the kind of things Hector was one to do, being much more intelligent then his owner. He spoke with a slight Australian accent, and also kept his voice low, no matter how excited or angry he was, he'd never talk ungentlemanly.
His final cartoon was 1971's "Ice Cream for Help", and strangely unlike other TerryToon characters, he has yet to make any further appearances in the way of cameos or guest roles.
Hector is not the most popular character, but he was liked at the studio well enough that in October 5'th 1963, on NBC, he, Sidney the Elephant, and Hashimoto-san got their very own TV show called "The Hector Heathcote Show". The show ran two seasons, while showcasing the theatrical shorts (Which were still being made when the show began).
While the show was running, Hector was merchandised on lunch boxes, toys and elsewhere. Gold Key published him in comic book form.
- The Minute and a ½ Man (Submitted to Oscars in hope that it'd be nominated, it wasn't.)
- A Bell for Philadelphia
- Tea Party
- The Big Cleanup
- Barrel of Fun
- The Hectormobile
- Peace Pipe
- The First Telephone
- Hats Off to Hector
- High Flyer (Filmed in Cinemascope)
- Hold The Fort!
- Valley Forge Hero
- Search for a Symbol
- Expert Explorer
- Pig in a Poke
- Foxed by a Fox
- Messy Messenger
While memorable, the character didn't really make a much of a splash, like some of the studio's other characters (e.g., Deputy Dawg, Tom Terrific), he appeared in a couple of Wonder Books (a Little Golden Books knock-off), and his cartoons were released on VHS.
Much as he is the unsung hero of america, he is also the unsung hero of TerryToons, however with many fans looking back at his cartoons fondly, we can only hope that he will someday make a return. He has shown time and time again that he ameri-can.
- Hector loves fireworks, according to "Search for a Symbol", and the opening and closing to The Hector Heathcote Show.