Ken Spears death: Scooby Doo co-creator and TV producer dies aged 82

Spears developed the hit cartoon alongside his late collaborator, Joe Ruby

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 10 November 2020 08:52
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Scoob! trailer

Ken Spears, the TV writer and producer who co-created Scooby-Doo, has died at the age of 82.

His son confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Spears died on Friday 6 November, of complications resulting from Lewy body dementia.

Born in 1938, Spears lived in Los Angeles, California throughout the early years of his life. After becoming firm friends with the son of William Hanna, Spears found work as a sound editor for the legendary animation company Hanna-Barbera.

It was while working there he would meet Joe Ruby, the animator and producer with whom he would form a galvanising professional relationship.

Spears and Ruby created Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? for Hanna-Barbera, serving as writers and editors on many early episodes. 

A still from ‘Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost’, a popular 1999 film adaptation of the hit children’s series

The series went on to become an iconic part of pop culture, spawning animated spin-offs, feature films, video games and more.

Together, the pair also created Dynomutt and Jabberjaw. Ruby died earlier this year, on 26 August, of natural causes.

Sam Register, president of Warner Bros Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, said in a statement: “Warner Bros Animation is saddened to learn of the passing of Ken Spears and we send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones.”

“He was a true innovator in the industry whose gifts of humour and storytelling continue to delight audiences. You cannot find a screen in the world that has not played a version of Scooby-Doo. We continue to be inspired by his work at Warner Bros Animation and are honoured to carry on the legacy of his beloved characters.”

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