Gene Deitch, an American Oscar-winning illustrator, animator, film director and producer has died. He was 95.
His Czech publisher, Petr Himmel, told The Associated Press Deitch died unexpectedly during the night from Thursday to Friday in his apartment in Prague’s Little Quarter neighborhood. No further details were given.
Deitch’s movie “Munro” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1960. He was also nominated for the same award twice in 1964 for “Here’s Nudnik” and “How to Avoid Friendship.”
Earlier, he had created the “Tom Terrific” series, while the “Sidney’s Family Tree,” which he co-produced was nominated for an Academy Award in 1958.
He was born in Chicago but moved to Prague in 1959 after what was only supposed to be a 10-day visit.
In 2004 he was presented withthe Winsor McCay Award for his lifelong contribution to animation.
Gene is survived by his wife and three sons from his first marriage, who are all writers and artists for alternative comics.
Following the news of his death, tributes have poured in online from fans, with many thanking him for ‘making’ their childhoods.