American-Czech illustrator, animator, comics artist, and director of Tom and Jerry, Gene Deitch, is dead.
According to Metro News, the 95-year-old Oscar-winning illustrator died ‘unexpectedly’ in his apartment, Petr Himmel, his Czech publisher confirmed the news to The Associated Press.
Gene, whose full name is Eugene Merril Deitch, was born in Chicago on August 8, 1924, and died April 16, 2020.
He was popular for directing popular animated cartoons including, Tom and Jerry, Popeye, and also creating Munro, Tom Terrific, and Nudnik.
He is survived by his wife Zdenka Najmanová and his three sons from his first marriage to Marie Deitch, Kim, Simon, and Seth Deitch, who are artists and writers for underground comix and alternative comics.
From working as a draftsman for the North American Aviation drawing aircraft blueprints, Gene also contributed covers and interior art to the jazz magazine The Record Changer from 1940-1951.
In 1960, Gene collaborated with Rembrandt to direct Popeye cartoons, and from 1961 to 1962 he directed 13 new Tom and Jerry shorts for Metro Goldyb Mayer (MGM).
Gene was the leading animation director for the Connecticut organization Weston Woods Studios from 1969 until his retirement in 2008.
Reactions have trailed the death of the renowned animator.
Gene Deitch, the creator of Tom & Jerry has left for the Heavenly Creator. You added so much happiness to all our lives, no matter how young or old. Salute and Respect. #RIPGeneDeitch pic.twitter.com/vkysgNy4El
— Francis Joseph (Educator) (@Francis_Joseph) April 21, 2020
— faeza32 (@FaezaFaeza32) April 21, 2020
RIP Gene Deitch. (1924 – 2020)
Man who made our childhood awesome .. Tom and Jerry forever in our hearts ❤️ pic.twitter.com/BsGNhh8KWN
— nasim dadfar (@nasim__dadfar) April 21, 2020
Tom & Jerry and Popeye creator, Gene Deitch has sadly passed away at the age of 95. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sX1gfu7r4c
— Swatantra Dwivedi (@acidkidrock) April 21, 2020
May your soul Rest in Peace…
We will be forever grateful to you …
— Actress Haelyn Shastri (@thehaelyn) April 21, 2020