Ken Spears, co-creator of the animated series “Scooby-Doo” and co-founder of Ruby-Spears Productions along with the late Joe Ruby, died Friday, November 6, at age 82.
Spears’ son, Kevin Spears, tells Variety that he died from complications related to Lewy body dementia.
“Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, his story-telling, his loyalty to family, and his strong work ethic,” Kevin Spears says.
He adds: “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.”
Born Charles Kenneth Spears on March 12, 1938, Spears grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he befriended the son of animation producer William Hanna. Spears was later hired at Hanna’s company, Hanna-Barbera Productions, in 1959 as a sound editor. While working in the editing department, Spears met Joe Ruby, and the two began a writing partnership. Together, they penned teleplays for Hanna-Barbera, Sid and Marty Krofft Television Productions and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.
Spears and Ruby created beloved animated shows like “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” “Dynomutt,” “Dog Wonder” and “Jabberjaw” for Hanna-Barbera, in addition to “The Barkleys” and “The Houndcats” for DePatie-Freleng.