One of the most famous illustrators of all time – Gene Deitch passed away at the age of 95.
The Oscar-winning director, famous for directing Tom & Jerry and Popeye died ‘unexpectedly’ in his apartment in Prague on April 16th. The case of death is not yet given.
His Czech publisher, Petr Himmel, has confirmed the terrible news.
R.I.P Gene Deitch (1924-2020) pic.twitter.com/QOTDmZgAq3
— Down the Inkwell (@DownInkwell) April 17, 2020
The illustrator, whose full name was Eugene Merill Deitch, has previously worked as a draftsman for North American Aviation, after which he was drafted for the military and entered a pilot training. He got discharged in 1944 for medical issues and went back to the commercial art world when his animation career suddenly took off.
Gene got nominated for an Oscar in 1958 for his film Sidney’s Family Tree. He went on to the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Munro in 1960, and was nominated another two times in the same category in 1964 for Here’s Nudnik and How to Avoid Friendship.
The legend also worked as a creative director at Terrytoons, under 20th Century Fox, where he created some more iconic characters like Sidney the Elephant, Gaston Le Crayon, Clint Clobber and Terr’ble Thompson.
After that, in the 1960s, he went on to produce a number of Popeye cartoons, as well as a doxen Tom & Jerry shorts for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Apart from that, he also directed a series of King Features’ Krazy Kat shorts for TV, and created an original kids’ series called The Bluffers.
Gene left behind his wife and three sons from his first marriage.
Rest in peace dear legend, you have changed a lot of lives with your work!