Oscar-winning 'Tom & Jerry' director Gene Deitch dies at the age of 95

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By VT

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Oscar-winning illustrator, producer, and director Gene Deitch has passed away at the age of 95.

The American-born Czech auteur, who made his name as one of the most successful cartoon creatives of all time, was said to have died "unexpectedly" by his Czech publisher Peter Himmel, who confirmed the sad news late on Friday. 

The son of a salesman, Deitch was born in Chicago Illinois in August 1924, before beginning his career drawing aviation blueprints in the airforce. After being honorably discharged due to a bout of pneumonia, Deitch established himself as a leading light in 1950’s animation. 

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From an initial apprenticeship in 1955, Deitch went on to become the creative director of Terrytoons, penning such beloved characters as Sidney the Elephant, Gaston Le Crayon, and Clint Clobber.

He was first nominated for an Academy Award for his work in 1958 for the film Sidney’s Family Tree, though he would not win the prestigious accolade until 1960 for the short animation Munro. It was after this success that Deitch decided to relocate his Rembrandt Production Company to the Czech Republic. 

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/DownInkwell/status/1251256605292638208]]
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Although Deitch is probably best known for his work on Popeye and Tom & Jerry during the 1960s, he initially held misgivings about the latter property.

According to The Gene Deitch DVD collection, he felt that the cartoon was "needlessly violent", though he later revised his opinion after concluding that the show was simply a "parody of exaggerated human emotions".

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/dee_bax/status/1251198061415710721]]

Deitch is survived by his second wife Zdenka Najmanová, whom he met in 1960, and his three sons Simon, Seth and Kim Deitch - the latter of which went on to become an established cartoonist in his own right.

Oscar-winning 'Tom & Jerry' director Gene Deitch dies at the age of 95

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Oscar-winning illustrator, producer, and director Gene Deitch has passed away at the age of 95.

The American-born Czech auteur, who made his name as one of the most successful cartoon creatives of all time, was said to have died "unexpectedly" by his Czech publisher Peter Himmel, who confirmed the sad news late on Friday. 

The son of a salesman, Deitch was born in Chicago Illinois in August 1924, before beginning his career drawing aviation blueprints in the airforce. After being honorably discharged due to a bout of pneumonia, Deitch established himself as a leading light in 1950’s animation. 

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/rappiii_/status/1251864650603360257]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/louie_johnson54/status/1251875629848563712]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/puldourv/status/1251716717186711552]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/drhq/status/1251348286432137216]]

From an initial apprenticeship in 1955, Deitch went on to become the creative director of Terrytoons, penning such beloved characters as Sidney the Elephant, Gaston Le Crayon, and Clint Clobber.

He was first nominated for an Academy Award for his work in 1958 for the film Sidney’s Family Tree, though he would not win the prestigious accolade until 1960 for the short animation Munro. It was after this success that Deitch decided to relocate his Rembrandt Production Company to the Czech Republic. 

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/DownInkwell/status/1251256605292638208]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/DownInkwell/status/1251261468621680640]]

Although Deitch is probably best known for his work on Popeye and Tom & Jerry during the 1960s, he initially held misgivings about the latter property.

According to The Gene Deitch DVD collection, he felt that the cartoon was "needlessly violent", though he later revised his opinion after concluding that the show was simply a "parody of exaggerated human emotions".

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/dee_bax/status/1251198061415710721]]

Deitch is survived by his second wife Zdenka Najmanová, whom he met in 1960, and his three sons Simon, Seth and Kim Deitch - the latter of which went on to become an established cartoonist in his own right.