Ken Spears, the co-creator of Scooby-Doo, has passed away at the age of 82 just months after the death of his animation partner Joe Ruby.
As Variety reported, the 82-year-old producer, writer, and editor’s passing was confirmed by his son, Kevin, who revealed that his father had died from Lewy body dementia complications.
“Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic,” Kevin told Variety as he opened up about the legendary Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! creator’s life.
“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.”
Ken Spears passed away on November 6, less than three months after his long-term work partner Joe Ruby died of natural causes at his Westlake Village home in California.
The pair met while working for Hanna-Barbera Productions and went on to create a number of popular animation classics including Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, Jabberjaw, and Dynomutt.
Following the success of Scooby-Doo, an animated series in which a group of teenage friends travels in search of bizarre phenomena, multiple spin-offs and related works followed.
“We were worried it wouldn’t last but one season, much less 38 years. It was up against The Hardy Boys on NBC and we thought we’d get clobbered in the ratings,” Spears previously admitted.
Following their success with Scooby-Doo, Ruby and Spears were hired by Fred Silverman, a CBS executive, to oversee morning cartoons.
In 1977, the year when Silverman departed for ABC, Ruby and Spears left the program and set up their own studio called Ruby-Spears Productions.
In the following years, the pair continued to create memorable works such as Alvin and the Chipmunks, Mister T, Superman, Fangface, The Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure Hour, and Thundarr the Barbarian.
In 1981, Ruby-Spears was acquired by Taft Broadcasting and became a sister company of Hanna-Barbera Productions. In 1991, most of its original library was sold to Turner Broadcasting System.
Spears is survived by his sons Chris and Kevin, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. May he rest in peace.