GENE DEITCH, the Oscar winning animator, filmmaker, illustrator and director of the world-famous Tom and Jerry animated cartoon series, has died at the age of 95. But how did Gene Deitch die? Here is everything you need to know about the cause of death.
The director of the famous chases between cat Tom and mouse Jerry died suddenly, according to his Czech publisher via the Associated Press website, without complaining about any disease. Deitch died unexpectedly at his home in Paraguay on Thursday night according to reports, and he was found at his apartment in Paraguay, but no further details or cause of death has yet been provided.
He is survived by his wife, and his three sons from a previous marriage. All of his sons have followed in their father and mother’s footsteps to become cartoonists and animators as well.
Deitch was born in Chicago in 1924 but moved to California as a child. After a brief military career, he quickly made his name in the world of animation and began to receive recognition from those within his industry.
Deitch claimed the Academy Award in the animated short category for his film Munro in 1960, he was then nominated for the same award twice more for “Here’s Nudnik” and “How to Avoid Friendship” in 1964.
He had also been nominated for an Oscar in 1958 for “Sidney’s Family Tree”.
He is most famously known for his work on the classic cartoons “Popeye” and “Tom and Jerry”. However he is best known as “the father of Tom and Jerry” animated cartoon series, and he directed 13 episodes from behind the Iron Curtain.
Deitch moved to Prague with his first wife and fellow animator Zdenka Najmanova in 1959. Whilst resident in the Czech capital, he created more than 70 animated movies, as well as seven television series’.
He also wrote a memoir about his life living as an American in Prague under the dictatorship of the Communist Party.
In that book, entitled “For the Love of Prague”, he described his life as “the only free American living and working in Prague during 30 years of the Communist Party dictatorship.”
Despite the fact that he was a US citizen living in the country, and making work for a worldwide audience, he said that the authorities never bothered or interfered with him during that time.
However, that didn’t the government them banning his film The Giants (Obri) in 1969 for the perceived criticism of the 1968 Soviet invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia.
In addition to the many awards, nominations, and accolades that he received during his career, he also received the Winsor McCay Award in 2004 in recognition for his long-standing contribution to the world of animated cinema.
Fans and colleagues have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to him, with one fan saying: “R.I.P Gene Deitch. You lived the artist life and impacted countless generations. It’ll never be forgotten.”