Ken Spears, the creator of Scooby-Doo, passed away on Friday, November 6 at age 82 from complications related to dementia. The iconic Great Dane Scooby-Doo, has been the subject of various films and the show has been reinvented for television ten times for different eras. The character has a unique appeal that has stood the test of time to become beloved by people of many generations.
Spears was half of Ruby-Spears productions, an animation company that was bought by Hanna-Barbera in 1981. Hanna-Barbera is responsible for iconic cartoons like The Flintstones and Yogi Bear. Ruby-Spears produced several long-running Saturday morning cartoons, including Alvin and the Chipmunks and Superman. Spears and his co-founder Joe Ruby brought many cartoons to the small screen over the years, but Spears’ most famous creation by far was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?! in 1969. This was the original cartoon following the adventures of Scooby and the gang. The four meddling kids, Velma, Daphne, Fred and Shaggy along with their hungry canine solved mysteries and debunked monsters in small mining towns and “haunted” houses. The show was also responsible for pioneering what is now known as the “monster of the week” format of television stories.