Ken Spears, co-creator of the Scooby-Doo animated series and co-founder of Ruby-Spears Productions, died at the age of 82 on Friday, November 6, along with the late Joe Ruby.
Kevin Spears, Spears’ son, tells Variety that he died from Lewy body dementia-related complications.
“For his wit, his story-telling, his devotion to family and his good work ethic, Ken will be remembered forever,” Kevin Spears says.
“He adds: “Ken has not only left a lasting impact on his family but as co-creator of ‘Scooby-Doo,’ he has touched the lives of many. Ken has been a role model for us throughout his life and will continue to live on in our hearts.
Spears, born Charles Kenneth Spears on March 12, 1938, grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he became friends with the son of William Hanna, an animation maker. Spears was later hired in 1959 as a sound editor at Hanna’s company, Hanna-Barbera Productions. Spears met Joe Ruby while working in the editing department, and the two started a writing relationship. Together, they wrote teleplays for Hanna-Barbera, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Sid and Marty Krofft Television Productions.
In addition to “The Barkleys” and “The Hounds” for DePatie-Freleng, Spears and Ruby produced beloved animated shows such as “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!,” “Dynomutt,” “Dog Wonder” and “Jabberjaw” for Hanna-Barbera.