Famous animator Chuck Jones created the character for the 1946 film Hair-Raising Hare. Bugs Bunny is supposed to be the meal for a mad scientist's unnamed, furry, red monster. Part of this plot was redone for the 1952 Jones short Water, Water Every Hare, but the monster was called "Rudolph". For years, the character was ignored, until Jones used him once again in 1980's Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 1/2th Century. In this toon, Marvin the Martian calls the monster Gossamer for the first time. Jones chose this name "because he's the opposite of gossamer. He's a big, hairy thing."
Since his resurfacing in 1980, Gossamer has made more appearances, in such Looney Tunes cartoons as Space Jam, Tiny Toon Adventures, Pinky and the Brain and Bah Humduck: A Looney Tunes Christmas.
The character has become more popular over time, and now is a favorite used by Looney Tunes marketing, appearing on hats, shirts, toys and more. We have quite a few items ourselves, including a collectible plate, a cookie jar, some stuffed toys and Christmas ornaments!
Here is the character's first appearance, the classic Hair-Raising Hare: