Enamul Hafiz Latifee reports,
Oscar-winning Tom and Jerry Director Gene Deitch has sadly passed away aged 95. The Oscar-winning illustrator passed away on Thursday, 16 April 2020, during night at his apartment in Prague. His Czech publisher, Petr Himmel, told The Associated Press that he died ‘unexpectedly.’
Born on August 8 in 1924, in Chicago, Gene, who’s full name was Eugene Merrill Deitch, directed 13 episodes of -beloved children’s cartoon Tom and Jerry and some from the series Popeye.
Gene worked as a draftsman for North American Aviation before being drafted for the military and entering pilot training.
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.
Deitch arrived in Prague in 1959 on a 10-day trip, where he fell in love with his future wife, Zdenka, and decided to settle down in the Czechoslovakian capital. He created some of his best works while living in Prague.
In 2004, he received the Winsor McCay Award for his lifelong contribution to animation.
Deitch is survived by his wife and by three sons from his first marriage, all of whom are cartoonists and illustrators.