Scooby-Doo co-creator Ken Spears has died at the age of 82.
The TV writer and producer died on Friday following complications related to Lewy body dementia.
Ken’s son Kevin confirmed news of his death to Variety, saying: “Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic.
“Ken has not only made a lasting impression on his family, but he has touched the lives of many as co-creator of Scooby-Doo. Ken has been a role model for us throughout his life and he will continue to live on in our hearts.”
Ken joined Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1959 as a sound editor, and he met future creative partner Joe Ruby during his time with the company.
The duo subsequently sparked a productive writing partnership, penning teleplays for Hanna-Barbera, Sid and Marty Krofft Television Productions and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.
Their biggest success was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which has gone on to become one of the most popular cartoons in history.
The duo went on to launch their own studio, Ruby-Spears Productions in 1977, producing several animated series together, including Superman, Alvin And The Chipmunks and Thundarr The Barbarian.
The president of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, Sam Register, paid tribute to Ken in a statement.
“He was a true innovator in the industry whose gifts of humour and storytelling continue to delight audiences,” he said.
“You cannot find a screen in the world that has not played a version of Scooby-Doo. We continue to be inspired by his work at Warner Bros. Animation and are honoured to carry on the legacy of his beloved characters.”