Tom and Jerry director and Oscar-Winning Illustrator Gene Deitch Dies at 95

We all grew up watching the iconic cartoons Tom and Jerry and still cherish our childhood but sadly the person who made our childhood awesome is no more with us.

An American Oscar-winning illustrator and animation film director and producer dies at the age of 95.

The best known for directing popular cartoon shows Tom And Jerry and Popeye the Sailor, unexpectedly died on Thursday last week.

His Czech publisher, Petr Himmel, told The Associated Press that Deitch died unexpectedly on Thursday night in his apartment in Prague’s Little Quarter neighborhood. No further details were given

Early Life of  Gene Deitch

An American-Czech illustrator and comic artist born on August 8, 1924, in Chicago later moved to California.

Deitch attended school in Hollywood and graduated in 1942 from Los Angeles High School.

He worked as a draftsman for North American Aviation just after completing his graduation.

Earlier in his career, he made music in 1954 and later became the creative director of Terrytoons.

His theatrical cartoon Sidney’s Family Tree was nominated for an Academy Award in 1958.

Later in August 1958, he was fired from Terrytoons and set up his own studio in New York called Gene Deitch Associates, Inc.

Achievements of Gene Deitch

Gene Deitch’s animated short film Munro won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 1961. Later in 1964, he was nominated for ‘Here’s Nudnik‘ and ‘How to Avoid Friendship‘  twice.

His theatrical cartoon Sidney’s Family Tree was nominated for an Academy Award in 1958.

He was critically acclaimed for directing Alice of Wonderland In Paris, He is one of the 1st American singer-songwriters.

He directed 13 episodes of famous Tom and Jerry and few episodes of  Popeye the Sailor.

For his life long contribution to animation and comic, he was honored with the Winsor McCay Award in 2004.

For the Love for Prague

He caught life in communist Czechoslovakia and later in the Czech Republic after the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution in his memoirs “For the Love of Prague.

Deitch arrived in Prague in 1959 expecting to remain for 10 days in particular.

Then he fell in love with his future wife, Zdenka, and remained in the Czechoslovakian capital for the rest of his life.

Deitch is survived by his wife and by three sons from his first marriage.

His sons continue the legacy of his father as all of them are sketch artists and illustrators.

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Umer Atiq
IT Consultant and business analyst. Keeps an interest in the affair that impact business or society.