Ken Spears, the co-creator of the cartoon series Scooby-Doo, has died at the age of 82.
Spears, who created the animated characters alongside his creative partner Joe Ruby, died of complications from Lewy body dementia.
Their original show, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! only ran for two series from 1969-1970, but established a template that spawned 50 years of stories.
Spears’s death comes three months after that of his co-creator, Ruby.
His son, Kevin, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Spears died in Los Angeles on Friday, November 6, 2020.
Ken Spears was born in Los Angeles on March 12, 1938, and first met Ruby when both were sound editors and staff writers at animation studio Hanna Barbera.
While there, the pair created the supernatural kids show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which debuted on CBS in September 1969.
It followed the adventures of a cowardly but good-natured Great Dane, Scooby, who travelled the US solving spooky mysteries with a group of plucky teenagers – Daphne, Fred, Velma and his slacker sidekick, Shaggy.
Spears and Ruby wrote and story-edited all but four of the first 25 episodes.
The pair went on to create characters including Dynomutt, Dog Wonder and Jabberjaw and were asked to supervise the Saturday morning cartoon line-up at CBS, and later did the same job at ABC.
In 1977, ABC set up Ruby-Spears Productions as a subsidiary of Filmways – a studio which went on to spawn series such as Mister T and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
After his death was announced, the official Scooby-Doo Instagram account paid tribute, with an image of the Scooby-Doo gang, captioned: “Ken Spears 1938-2020.”
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