Ken Spears, the co-creator of Scooby-Doo, has passed away at the age of 82. According to Variety, Spears passed away following complications related to Lewy body dementia on Friday, Nov. 6. His death comes months after the cartoon’s other creator Joe Ruby passed away.
Spears’ son released a statement confirming his father’s death and reflecting on his legacy. Spears was one of the creators behind the hit cartoon franchise “Scooby-Doo.” He also created the production company Ruby-Spears Productions with Joe Ruby.
“Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic,” he said. “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 Created ‘Scooby-Doo’ with Joe Ruby
Spears was born on March 12, 1938, and grew up in Los Angeles, California. He got his start in the cartoon landscape when he became friends with William Hanna’s son. Hanna was an animation producer that recruited Spears to his company, Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1959.
Spears worked as a sound editor for the company. It was there that he met his collaborative partner Ruby. Together, the two created some of the most beloved cartoons of the 1970s. They wrote scripts for various production companies such as Hanna-Barbera, Sid and Marty Krofft Television Productions and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.
The two created several shows together such as Dynomutt and Jabberjaw. Through the production company they formed in 1977, they launched Mister T, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Thundarr the Barbarian.
But their most endearing creation was Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Incorporated gang. The two partnered to work on “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” in 1969. They worked on a shoe-string budget for the show. The two wrote the first five episodes of the show and also supervised the first season. The two constantly worried that the show would get canceled.
“We were worried it wouldn’t last but one season,” Spears told ScoobyAddicts.com.
Since the 1960s, the cartoon has gone through several iterations, each beloved by the generations that followed. Several movies have spawned from the TV show including two live-action theatrical releases in the 2000s and a CGI remake called Scoob! earlier this year.