LOS OSOS, Calif. - Gumby animator Art Clokey, whose bendable creation became a pop culture phenomenon through countless satires, toys and revivals, has died at age 89.

Caretaker Chrisanne Wollett Clokey says Clokey died Friday in Los Osos on California's Central Coast.

Clokey first molded Gumby for a surreal student project at the University of Southern California called "Gumbasia." That led to his making shorts for the "Howdy Doody Show" and several series through the years.

He said he based Gumby's swooping head on the hairdo of his father, who died when Clokey was nine.

Clokey also created the moralizing and often satirized claymation duo "Davey and Goliath."

Eddie Murphy brought a surge in Gumby's popularity in the 1980s with his send-up of the character on "Saturday Night Live" as a cigar-smoking primadonna.