The Oscar-winning illustrator and animator, Gene Deitch who directed timeless classic cartoon series Tom and Jerry and Popeye, passed away at the age of 95. Gene Deitch was an American Oscar-winning illustrator, animator, film director, and producer. According to media reports, Deitch passed away at his apartment Prague’s Little Quarter neighborhood, as confirmed by his Czech publisher, Petr Himmel.
Born in 1924, Deitch had initially trained as a pilot but went to work as an illustrator for magazines before eventually turning towards animation.
In his starting years, Deitch was associated with studios such as United Productions of America (UPA) and Terrytoons and created cartoon characters such as Sidney the Elephant, Gaston Le Crayon, and Clint Clobber.
Gene Deitch’s full name was Eugene Merrill Deitch. He was born on 8th August 8, 1924, in Chicago. He graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1942. He began his early career as a sketch artist for North American Aviation, where he drew aircraft blueprints. He came to Prague in 1959 where he met fellow animator Zdenka Najmanova and fell in love with her and they got married 1964. Gene Deitch is survived by 3 sons, Kim, Simon, and Seth Deitch, who are artists and writers for underground comix and alternative comics.