J. Michael Mendel, the Emmy-winning producer of “Rick and Morty” and “The Simpsons,” died just two days shy of his 55th birthday.
He passed Sunday night of “natural causes” at his home in Studio City, LA, according to his wife, Juel Bestrop, an Emmy-winning casting director.
Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, the television home of “Rick and Morty” since it premiered in 2013, issued the following statement: “All of us at Adult Swim are devastated by the untimely passing of Mike Mendel. Mike was the heart of the Rick and Morty production family; his fantastic talent and wit will be sorely missed.”
The network went on to praise Mendel as “a universally respected Emmy-winning producer with over 25 years in the industry who 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 during this difficult time.”
Justin Roiland, “Rick and Morty” co-creator, also tweeted a tribute: “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.”
Fellow “Simpsons” producer Al Jean also posted a tribute on Twitter: “V v sorry to learn of the passing of Mike Mendel great guy. Our thoughts are with his family.”
Mendel worked as a post-production supervisor on “The Tracey Ullman Show,” which first broadcasted “The Simpsons,” before moving to the latter when it spun off into an independent series in 1989. He helped produce 207 episodes of “The Simpsons” during his 10-year tenure, racking up three Emmys in 1995, ’97 and ’98.
Mendel then worked as line producer on “Rick and Morty” from 2013 to 2017, garnering a fourth Emmy in 2018. He was also a production assistant on films such as “Big” and “Jerry Maguire,” and boasts animation credits on “The Critic,” “Napoleon Dynamite” and countless other productions.
Mendel is survived by his wife and two children.
Source: NY Post