Scooby-Doo was one of my favorite cartoon tv shows growing up, but who didn’t like Scooby Doo? The small cartoon series turned into an entire timeless branded franchise as one of the most iconic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, through video games, merch, movies, and park rides throughout the century since the 1960s. But as I nostalgically digress about the beloved show, I also bring the sad news that creator Joe Ruby has passed away. He was 87-years-old.
According to Variety, Ruby passed away of natural causes in Westlake Village, California. It’s sad to say that all good things do. come to an end. With co-creator Ken Spears, the pair wrote the very first five episodes of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and edited the rest of the very first season in 1969. Following Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and the beloved Scooby was the nice balance to more violent cartoons that were around during that time, one naming Space Ghost.
Since the Hanna-Barbera production was a hit, Ruby oversaw the animated series on Saturday mornings at CBS and then eventually ABC with their own studio in 1977. Ruby was also the executive producer for Rambo and Police Academy: The Animated Series. He and partner Ken Spears founded Ruby-Spears Productions, and Ruby also was behind other popular tv shows such as Fangface, the Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure Hour, Thundarr the Barbarian, Saturday Supercade, Mister T, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Superman.
Ruby is survived by his wife, 63-year-old Carole, with four children and ten grandchildren. His grandson Benjamin Ruby honored his creativity and work ethic by explaining how the animator “never stopped writing and creating, even as he aged.”
Our thoughts go out to his loved ones and fans (including myself!), since his creative mind will be very difficult to live up to or replicate in mastery. The man behind some of the most iconic tv shows in history will never be able to be replaced.