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Joe Ruby, the co-creator of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, has died at the age of 87.
The legendary animation writer and executive died of natural causes in Westlake Village, California, according to local reports.
Throughout his life, Ruby worked alongside Ken Spears at Hanna-Barbera Productions to create a number of successful series, with the pair developing Dynomutt, Dog Wonder and Jabberjaw together on top of Scooby-Doo.
Sam Register, Warner Bros. Animation and Blue Ribbon Content President, said in a statement to Variety:
Joe Ruby made Saturday mornings special for so many children, including myself. He was one of the most prolific creators in our industry who gifted us some of animation’s most treasured characters and it was a thrill to host him at our studio.
Scooby-Doo has been a beloved companion on screens for more than 50 years, leaving an enduring legacy that has inspired and entertained generations.
We at Warner Bros. Animation have the privilege and honour of carrying on that legacy and send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones.
The animator was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 30, 1933 and began his animation career at Walt Disney Productions before shifting his focus to editing and producing.
Ruby then went on to meet his creative partner Spears at Hanna-Barbera Productions, where the two created a wide range of animated and live-action titles. Ruby’s grandson, Benjamin Ruby, said the animator ‘never stopped writing and creating, even as he aged’.
Scooby-Doo launched on CBS in 1969 in response to complaints about violence in children’s cartoons, with Ruby and Spears trying a number of characters and story lines before settling on the Mystery Incorporated crew: Freddie, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and, of course, Scooby-Doo.
Ruby and Spears wrote the first five episodes of the animated series before supervising and editing the rest of the first season, with the original series running until 1976.
After the success of Scooby-Doo, Ruby and Spears were hired by Fred Silverman, CBS’s president of Children’s Programming, to oversee the Saturday morning cartoons, after which they set up their own studio in 1977.
Ruby-Spears Productions went on to produce series such as Mister T, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Superman, Fangface, Thundarr the Barbarian and The Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure Hour.
Our thoughts are with Joe’s loved ones at this difficult time. Rest in peace.
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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