Ken Spears, the co-creator of the popular cartoon series Scooby-Doo, has died at the age of 82.
His son Kevin confirmed to Variety that Spears died of complications from Lewy body dementia on Friday.
His death comes three months after that of his co-creator, Joe Ruby.
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.
“Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic,” his son, Kevin Spears 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.”
After Spears’ death was announced, the official Scooby Doo Instagram account paid tribute, with an image of the Scooby Doo gang captioned: “Ken Spears 1938-2020.”
Warner Bros president Sam Register 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.”
Spears is survived by his two sons, Kevin and Chris; their wives, his five grandchildren and his three great-grandchildren.