Ken Spears, co-creator of the beloved animated collection “Scooby-Doo” and co-founder of Ruby-Spears Productions together with the late Joe Ruby, died Friday. He was 82.
Spears’ son, Kevin Spears, tells Selection that he died from issues associated to Lewy physique dementia.
“Ken will perpetually be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to household, and his robust work ethic,” Kevin Spears says. “Ken has not solely made a long-lasting impression on his household, however he has touched the lives of many as co-creator of ‘Scooby-Doo.’ Ken has been a job mannequin for us all through his life and he’ll proceed to reside on in our hearts.”
Born Charles Kenneth Spears on March 12, 1938, Spears grew up in Los Angeles, Calif., the place he befriended the son of animation producer William Hanna. Spears was later employed at Hanna’s firm, Hanna-Barbera Productions, in 1959 as a sound editor. Whereas working within the modifying division, Spears met Joe Ruby, and the 2 started a fruitful writing partnership. Collectively, they penned teleplays for Hanna-Barbera, Sid and Marty Krofft Tv Productions and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.
Spears and Ruby created beloved animated exhibits like “Scooby-Doo, The place Are You!” “Dynomutt,” “Canine Marvel” and “Jabberjaw” for Hanna-Barbera, along with “The Barkleys” and “The Houndcats” for DePatie-Freleng. Fred Silverman, CBS President of Kids’s Programming, employed each Spears and Ruby within the early Nineteen Seventies to oversee CBS’ Saturday morning cartoons lineup, and when Silverman moved to ABC, they adopted. Spears was additionally a narrative advisor for the 1974 “Planet of the Apes” TV collection.
In 1977, Spears and Ruby created their very own studio, Ruby-Spears Productions. They produced a number of animated collection, together with “Superman,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Fangface,” “Mister T,” “The Plastic Man Comedy-Journey Hour,” “Thundarr the Barbarian” and “Saturday Supercade.” In 1981, Ruby-Spears Productions was bought by Taft Leisure, the guardian firm of Hanna-Barbera. Ruby-Spears’ catalog was bought, together with that of Hanna-Barbera, to Turner Broadcasting in 1991. Ruby died on Aug. 26.
“Warner Bros. Animation is saddened to study of the passing of Ken Spears and we ship our warmest ideas to his family members. He was a real innovator within the business whose items of humor and storytelling proceed to thrill audiences,” Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Community Studios, mentioned in an announcement. “You can’t discover a display screen on this planet that has not performed a model of Scooby-Doo. We proceed to be impressed by his work at Warner Bros. Animation and are honored to hold on the legacy of his beloved characters.”
Spears is survived by his two sons, Kevin and Chris; their wives, his 5 grandchildren and his three great-grandchildren.