Gene Deitch, Oscar-winning illustrator and animation filmmaker, 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.
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. Deitch is survived by his wife and three sons from his first marriage. All his three sons are cartoonists and illustrators.