Rick And Morty And The Simpsons Producer Michael Mendel Dies At 54

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 24 Sep 2019 07:58
Rick And Morty Producer Michael Mendel Dies At 54Adult Swim

J. Michael Mendel, the Emmy award-winning animation producer behind Rick and Morty, has died aged 54.

Mendel was also known for his work on The Simpsons, Napoleon Dynamite, Jerry Maguire and Big.


According to his wife, casting director Juel Bestrop, Michael died of ‘natural causes’ at their home in Studio City, Los Angeles, on Sunday, September 22.

Justin Roiland, co-creator of Rick and Morty, took to Twitter to say he was ‘devastated’ and ‘destroyed’ by the news.

He wrote:


My friend, partner, and line producer Mike Mendel passed away. I am devastated. My heart breaks for his family. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you by my side Mike. I’m destroyed.

Mendel moved from his job as a postproduction supervisor on The Tracey Ullman Show to producer for The Simpsons in 1989, when the animated show spun off to become its own series. He first served as a line producer on the show, working between James L. Brooks’ Gracie Films and the Fox network to make sure the show was completed on time and on budget, The Hollywood Reporter states.

Al Jean, executive producer and writer on The Simpsons for 30 years, called Mendel a ‘great guy’, and was ‘very very sorry to learn of [his] passing’.

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The network behind Rick and Morty, Adult Swim, also posted a statement to social media, saying they were ‘devastated’ by the sad news.

The network wrote:

All of us at Adult Swim are devastated by the untimely passing of Rick and Morty producer Mike Mendel. He guided and supported a generation of artists, writers and creators and his absence will be felt by the entire community. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.


Mendel had credits as a producer on 207 episodes of The Simpsons, winning Emmys for his work in 1995, 1997 and 1998.

He later teamed up with Justin Roiland, working as line producer on Rick and Morty from 2013-2017, winning another Emmy award in 2018.

J. Michael Mendel was born in 1964, attended Monroe Woodbury High School in Woodbury, New York. He later attended Syracuse University before landing a job as production assistant for Gracie Films, the company helmed by James L. Brooks.


Michael is survived by his wife Juel, son Jacob and daughter Jesse.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Film and TV, Adult Swim, dead, Rick and Morty


The Hollywood Reporter
  1. The Hollywood Reporter

    J. Michael Mendel, Producer on 'The Simpsons' and 'Rick and Morty,' Dies at 54