Joe Ruby, Scooby-Doo Co-Creator, Dies at 87
The world of animation is mourning the loss of one of its most prolific and important creators. According to Variety, Joe Ruby, one of the co-creators of Scooby-Doo and many animated series throughout the second half of the 20th century, has died. He was 87 years old.
Ruby got his start at Disney, then met Ken Spears at Hanna-Barbera, where they formed a creative partnership that spanned decades. Although they worked on countless shows both for Hanna-Barbera and the company they later founded together, their most famous work remains Scooby-Doo. In the late 1960s, Ruby and Spears were tasked with creating a mystery show for kids for CBS. After a long development process, they came up with the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
After Scooby-Doo, Ruby and spears created other Hanna-Barbera hits like Jabberjaw.
Ruby and Spears proved so successful making children’s shows for Hanna-Barbera that they were eventually recruited by CBS’ (and later ABC’s) head of kids programming Fred Silverman. They created their own company, Ruby-Spears, which operated from 1977 through the mid ’90s, and produced many of the most beloved animated series of the 1980s. Their shows included the ’80s revival of Alvin and the Chipmunks...
And the excellent Superman cartoon from the late 1980s.
One of the stranger (yet oddly popular Ruby-Spears shows) was a cartoon about Mr. T, which vaguely adopted the Scooby-Doo concept to the adventures of T and a bunch of mystery-solving gymnasts. It’s a hoot.
Ruby and Spears made an enormous impact on 20th century pop culture, both through the shows they created, and the countless other series that replicated their successful Scooby-Doo formula. Ruby is survived by his wife, four children, 10 grandchildren, and generations of fans who owe him an enormous debt.
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