'Scooby-Doo' Co-Creator Ken Spears Dead at 82
"Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic"
Published Nov 09, 2020Ken Spears — an American writer, editor and television producer known best as the co-creator of the Scooby-Doo franchise — has died. Spears' son, Kevin Spears, confirmed his father's passing of complications related to Lewy body dementia. He was 82.
"Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic," Kevin Spears told Variety in a statement. "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."
Spears co-created Scooby-Doo with the late Joe Ruby, who passed away in August of this year. Born in 1938, Spears grew up in Los Angeles and was hired as a sound editor at Hanna-Barbera Productions. It was here where he would meet Ruby, who was working as a writer, and the pair were soon charged with developing a series of their own.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! would first air on CBS in 1969. Spears, Ruby and Bill Lutz wrote all of the scripts for the show's 17 first-season episodes, with the co-creators also serving as story editors on the second season of its original run.
The show's success led to adaptations for a host of follow-up and spinoff animated series, television specials and made-for-TV movies, direct-to-video films and a pair of theatrical feature films
"We were worried it wouldn't last but one season, much less 38 years," Spears would later recall to fansite Scooby Addicts. "It was up against The Hardy Boys on NBC and we thought we'd get clobbered in the ratings."
Spears and Ruby would also create Dynomutt, Dog Wonder and Jabberjaw for Hanna-Barbera, ahead of leaving the company in 1977 to found their their own animation studio, Ruby-Spears Productions. Here, they would produce animated series including Alvin and the Chipmunks, Mister T, Fangface, The Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure Hour, Thundarr the Barbarian, Saturday Supercade and more.
Spears is survived by sons Kevin and Chris, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.