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‘Josie and the Pussycats’ Inspiration Josie DeCarlo Dies

Josie DeCarlo, wife of cartoonist Dan DeCarlo, was the inspiration for the lead singer in Hanna-Barbera’s ”Josie and the Pussycats“ TV show

Josie DeCarlo, the inspi­ra­tion for singer-guitarist Josie McCoy of the 1970 Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon series "Josie and the Pussy­cats" and its suc­ces­sors, has died in her sleep.

Her age was not imme­di­ately available.

The blog Big Cartoon News filed the first report on her death, quoting car­toon and comics his­to­rian Mark Evanier. He said that Josie was drawn to resem­ble her by her hus­band, comic book leg­end Dan DeCarlo, who died in 2001 at 82.

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DeCarlo recalled how she became the inspi­ra­tion for the cartoon Josie in a New York Times inter­view shortly after her husband’s death, .

“We went on a Caribbean cruise, and I had a cos­tume for the cruise, and that’s the way it started,” Josie DeCarlo said of her cat suit.

“The hairdo came after,” Josie DeCarlo said. “One day, I came in with a new hairdo with a lit­tle bow in my hair, and he said, ‘That’s it!’”

Dan DeCarlo sketched her wife in that out­fit, and he gave her first name to the “star” when he went shop­ping to sev­eral syn­di­cates for a pro­posed news­pa­per strip, said Evanier.

Josie Dumont met her hus­band in Bel­gium on  a blind date shortly after the Bat­tle of the Bulge; he spoke lit­tle French, she spoke no English.

“We com­mu­ni­cated with draw­ing, ” she said. “He would draw things for me to make me under­stand what he had in mind. He was really so amus­ing. Instead of just using words, he would use car­toons to express him­self. Right away, we knew that we were meant for each other.”

Evanier said she remained active in the comic book field and continued to promote her husband's work following his death.

“She was a lovely lady, and every one of Dan’s many friends and fans loved her just as much as they loved Dan,” he added.

Funeral ser­vices will be held Mon­day in Scars­dale, New York. 

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