Oscar-winning illustrator and animator, Gene Deitch, has passed away at the age of 95, according to media reports.
Deitch, one the directors behind one of world’s most popular cartoons, Tom and Jerry, died in his apartment in Prague, his Czech publisher, Petr Himmel, told The Associated Press.
Born on August 8 in 1924, in Chicago, Deitch, whose full name was Eugene Merrill Deitch, was known for directing some of the most popular animator cartoons, including Popeye the Sailor Man, Munro, Tom Terrific and Nudnik.
He had directed 13 episodes of Tom and Jerry and multiple episodes of the Popeye the Sailor series.
Deitch arrived in Prague in 1959 on a 10-day trip, where he fell in love with his future wife, Zdenka, and decided to settle down in the Czechoslovakian capital. He created some of his best works while living in Prague.
Deitch’s won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1960 for his film Munro. He also received nominations for the same category twice in 1964 for Here’s Nudnik
Another series, Sidney’s Family Tree, which he had co-produced, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1958.
He received the Winsor McCay Award for his lifelong contribution to animation in 2004.
Deitch is survived by his wife and three sons from his first marriage. All his three sons are cartoonists and illustrators.