The legendary director of Tom and Jerry Gene Deitch passed away on 16th April, in his apartment in Prague, at the age of 95.
The cause of death has not been notified yet. Gene is survived by his wife and three sons from his first marriage.
The news came from Gene’s Czech publisher, Petr Himmel, who said Gene passed away ‘unexpectedly.’
R.I.P Gene Deitch (1924-2020) pic.twitter.com/QOTDmZgAq3
— Down the Inkwell (@DownInkwell) April 17, 2020
With a good name being Eugene Merrill Deitch, Gene started as a draftsman in Northern American Aviation. Soon we were selected in the military and he started his pilot training. However, in 1944 he left the army due to medical reasons. Then, he decided to focus on the commercial art world and his career in animation began thereafter.
Gene has been a creative director of under 20th Century Fox and Terrytoons. Gaston Le Crayon, Terr’ble Thompson, Sidney the Elephant and Clint Clobber were some of the characters created by him.
This Oscar-winning illustrator produced Popeye cartoons with Rembrandt films in 1960. He also worked with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and created a dozen of Tom and Jerry shorts.
He was a co-producer of Krazy Kat and an original creator of The Bluffers, a series for kids.