5 facts about Gene Deitch, director of Tom and Jerry, Popeye the Sailor, who passed away at 95

  • Gene Deitch the Oscar Award winning director, credited with helming animated series of Tom and Jerry

  • He passed away in his house in Prague

Gene Deitch

Gene Deitch was born on August 8, 1924 in Chicago. He breathed his last on April 16, 2020 at Prague. Here are five facts about the most acclaimed illustrator and multi-talented celebrity Gene Deitch

1) Tom and Jerry, Popeye the Sailor

Gene Deitch worked from behind the Iron Curtain and directed 13 episodes of "Tom and Jerry" and also some episodes of "Popeye the Sailor" series. He is also known for his creations "Tom Terrific" series, and co-produced "Sidney's Family Tree."

According to his His Czech publisher, Petr Himmel, who spoke to The Associated Press confirming the news of Deitch's death said that the American Oscar-winning illustrator, animator, film director and producer died unexpectedly during between Thursday and Friday night in his apartment at Little Quarter neighborhood in Prague. The cause for his death is not known yet.

2) Real name - works

Gene Eugene Merril Deitch popular as Gene Deitch is a director, American Oscar-winning illustrator, animator, film producer, director and has Tom and Jerry, Popeye the Sailor director to his credit. He is acclaimed for his works including animated cartoons Munro, Tom Terrific, Nudnik, as well as Popeye.

3) Awards – For the Love of Prague

He won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1960 for his movie "Munro."
He also captured Czechoslovakia and later in the Czech Republic in his work depicting the life during 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution in his memoirs "For the Love of Prague."
He was honored with Winsor McCay Award in 2004 for his contribution to animation.

4) Love for illustration

After graduation his first work was as a draftsman for North American Aviation. Later, he worked with military and entered pilot training.

In one of the rare moments, he was nominated for the same award twice in 1964 for his works "Here's Nudnik" and "How to Avoid Friendship." He also worked for The Record Changer, illustrating for its covers, interior art to jazz magazine.

5) Beautiful love story

Interestingly, Deitch arrived in Prague in 1959 for a 10-day holiday, but before he left the place, he fell in love with Zdenka, whom he married later. Thus, he ended up staying in Prague. Zdenka also worked as animator, a production manager, and as the director for the Bratři v triku studio.

He is survived by his wife and three sons from first wife. All his three sons are illustrators and cartoonists.