- Gene Deitch directed 13 episodes of ‘Tom And Jerry’
- Gene Deitch also directed episodes of ‘Popeye’
- Gene Deitch won an Oscar for his animated short ‘Munro’
Oscar-winning illustrator and animation filmmaker Gene Deitch, best known for directing popular cartoon shows Tom And Jerry and Popeye for television, died on Thursday last week. He was 95. As reported by international tabloids, Gene Deitch died in his apartment in Prague’s Little Quarter on Thursday night. The last Facebook post shared by Gene Deitch on April 11 was about the coronavirus but Cartoon Brew cited a family friend and neighbour to report that his death wasn’t related to coronavirus. Gene Deitch directed 13 episodes of Tom And Jerry for MGM between 1961 to 1962 and also directed a few episodes of Popeye for King Features between 1960 and 1963. His animated short Munro wont the Best Animated Short Film Oscar in 1961, the first of its kind created outside US to win an Oscar. Gene Deitch is also critically acclaimed for directing animated feature Alice of Wonderland In Paris. Gene Deitch was honoured with the Winsor McCay Award in 2003 for his contribution to animation.
Meanwhile, tributes have poured in on Twitter from those who grew up watching the iconic cartoon shows. The general sentiment on Twitter was: “We love you for making this cartoon,” read a tweet while another added: “Thank you for making our childhood awesome”. Another user tweeted: “Thank you for giving us such memorable cartoons which can’t be erased so easily from our hearts.”
— Oife_ (@fepoerba) April 20, 2020
— Jyotsna (@Djyotsnaa) April 20, 2020
— Tasleem (@tas0906) April 20, 2020
Good night, Mr. Gene Deitch, Tom and Jerry and Popeye Director (1924 – 2020).
Thanks for the stories. pic.twitter.com/pQBZIYoU0X
— Ikhide Roland Ikheloa (@ikhide) April 20, 2020
— Abi Krish (@aabikrish) April 20, 2020
this really hurt I still love Tom and Jerry to this day RIP Gene Deitch (1924-2020) pic.twitter.com/OSFaxOaOxz
— I Like Apple Juice (@LiyahLand) April 20, 2020
— M .K.RAO (@kondala_m) April 20, 2020
— Jyothipriya Rao (@jyothipriya_rao) April 20, 2020
Gene Deitch is survived by his wife and sons, all of who illustrators and cartoonists.