"Ken has been a role model for us throughout his life and he will continue to live on in our hearts,” said his son, Kevin.
Ken Spears, co-creator of the iconic cartoon “Scooby-Doo,” died Friday at age 82.
His death was confirmed Monday to Variety by his son Kevin, who said he died of complications from Lewy body dementia.
“Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his storytelling, his loyalty to family and his strong work ethic,” Kevin Spears told Variety. “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.”
The elder Spears created the animated show “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” in 1969 with cartoonist and writing partner Joe Ruby, who died just this August at age 87. Besides documenting the mystery-solving exploits of that show’s characters — Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and their dopey mutt sidekick Scooby — Spears and Ruby created several other 1970s-era cartoons together, including “Dynomutt, Dog Wonder” and “Jabberjaw.”
In 1959, Spears joined cartoon powerhouse Hanna-Barbera Productions as a sound editor, where Ruby was a co-worker. The dynamic duo also worked at Sid & Marty Krofft Television Productions, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, CBS and ABC. In 1977, they formed Ruby-Spears Productions, and they went on to do numerous other animated shows including “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “The Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure House.”
Created in 1969, “Scooby-Doo’s” characters were based on the 1959-63 teen sitcom “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” on CBS. The cartoon launched a long-running franchise with several series reboots and films, including a live-action 2002 movie — starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar — and a CGI remake titled “Scoob!” that was released this spring.
Spears is survived by sons Kevin and Chris and their spouses, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.