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Ken Spears, ‘Scooby-Doo’ Co-Creator, Dies at 82

Spears co-founded Ruby-Spears Productions along with the late Joe Ruby in 1977

Ken Spears, co-founded of Ruby-Spears Productions and co-creator of “Scooby-Doo,” has died at the age of 82.

In a statement to Variety, Spears’ son, Kevin Spears, said his father died on Friday due to 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,” he said. “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’ death comes just months after his longtime producing partner, Joe Ruby, died of natural causes at the age of 87.

Ruby and Spears co-created the beloved animated kids’ mystery series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” at Hanna-Barbera in 1969. The original run of the show ended in 1976, though the franchise has since spawned a number of spinoffs and movies following in the years to come featuring the characters Scooby-Doo, Fred, Shaggy, Daphne and Velma.

During their time at Hanna Barbera, Ruby and Spears also created other series including “Dynomutt” and “Jabberjaw.”

Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, remembered Spears as an “innovator” in a statement released Monday.

“Warner Bros. Animation is saddened to learn of the passing of Ken Spears and we send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones,” he said. “He was a true innovator in the industry whose gifts of humor and storytelling continue to delight audiences. You cannot find a screen in the world that has not played a version of Scooby-Doo. We continue to be inspired by his work at Warner Bros. Animation and are honored to carry on the legacy of his beloved characters.”

In 1977, the Ruby and Spears launched their own company, Ruby-Spears Productions, and created such series as “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Fangface” and “The Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure Hour.”