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SYFY WIRE obituary

Oscar-Winning Illustrator Gene Deitch dies at 95

By Donnie Lederer
Gene Deitch

Academy Award-winning director and illustrator Gene Deitch passed away Thursday in his home in Prague. He was 95.

His publisher Petr Himmel confirmed Deitch's death to the Associated Press. There was no cause of death given.

Born in Chicago in 1924, Deitch moved to Prague in 1959 after meeting his future wife and had lived there ever since. His accomplishments in the world of animation range from children's television to the Oscars.

For the classic Captain Kangaroo television series, Deitch adapted his Tom Terrific comic strip into a series of animated shorts under the Terrytoons banner.

Along with Terrific, Deitch also directed multiple entries in the Tom and Jerry and Popeye the Sailor series.

His most significant achievement came in 1960 when he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Munro. In 1964, he had two shorts nominated for the same award, Here's Nudnik and How to Avoid Friendship.

He is also an accomplished author, having written a memoir about living in the Czech Republic called For the Love of Prague.

Fans took to Twitter to offer their condolences.