Icon in the World of Cartoons Dead at 82

Ken Spears co-created 'Scooby-Doo'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2020 2:50 AM CST
He Was an Icon to the Saturday Morning Cartoon Set
Stock image.   (Getty Images / Eisenlohr)

A huge name in the world of Saturday morning cartoons died Friday at 82, Variety reports. Ken Spears co-created Scooby-Doo along with his writing partner Joe Ruby; the two went on to found a studio that produced such iconic shows as Alvin and the Chipmunks, Superman, Thundarr the Barbarian, and Mister T. "Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic,” one of his two sons says in a statement. “Ken has not only made a lasting impression on his family, but he has touched the lives of many as co-creator of Scooby-Doo. Ken has been a role model for us throughout his life and he will continue to live on in our hearts."

Spears, who died from complications of Lewy body dementia, grew up in Los Angeles and got a job at animation producer William Hanna's Hanna-Barbera Productions after befriending Hanna's son. After he met Ruby, they started writing together for that company along with Sid and Marty Krofft Television Productions and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. They created such shows as Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, Jabberjaw, The Barkleys, and The Houndcats. They later supervised CBS' entire Saturday morning lineup and then did the same at ABC, per the Hollywood Reporter, before forming their own studio, which was ultimately bought by Hanna-Barbera's parent company. Ruby also died this year. (Read more obituary stories.)

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