Tom and Jerry director Gene Deitch has died at the age of 95, it’s been confirmed.
The Oscar winner passed away on Thursday night at his apartment in Prague in the Little Quarter area.
His Czech publisher Petr Himmel said he died “unexpectedly”, according to The Associated Press.
Gene, whose full name was Eugene Merrill Deitch, directed 13 episodes of Tom and Jerry and several episodes of the series Popeye.
The animator and illustrator won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Munro in 1960.
He was then nominated for the same award twice in 1964 for his movies Here’s Nudnik and How to Avoid Friendship.
Gene was the co-producer of Sidney’s Family Tree which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1958.
He was born in Chicago but moved to Prague in 1959 after what was only supposed to be a 10-day visit.
But he fell in love with his future wife, Zdenka and stayed in the Czechoslovakian capital.
In 2004 he was presented with the Winsor McCay Award for his lifelong contribution to animation.
He is survived by his wife and three sons from his first marriage. The children all followed in his footsteps and work as cartoonists and illustrator.