joe ruby scooby doo
[Photo via Joe Ruby/YouTube, Scooby-Doo]

Scooby-Doo co-creator Joe Ruby has passed away at age 87. The writer, animator and producer died Wednesday of natural causes in Westlake Village, California, according to Variety.

He is survived by his wife Carole, whom he married 63 years ago, four children and 10 grandchildren.

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Ruby began his career in animation at the Walt Disney Animation Studios where he worked in the inbetweeners department. There, he was responsible for transferring the lead animators’ work to paper and filling in space between frames to make it look cohesive. He eventually moved into editing at Disney.

Later, Ruby went to Hanna-Barbera Productions where he met Ken Spears. There, the duo created Dynomutt, Dog Wonder and Jabberjaw for the company. However, their most notable creation was Scooby-Doo, which debuted in 1969 as Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. The original series aired until 1976 on CBS before moving to ABC and eventually spawning additional shows, films and live-action productions.

After the success of the Scooby gang, CBS president of children’s programming Fred Silverman hired Ruby and Spears to oversee Saturday morning cartoons. When Silverman left for ABC, the duo went with him. ABC gave them their own studio as a subsidiary of Filmways, calling it Ruby-Spears Productions. The team continued to produce several notable Saturday morning cartoons including Alvin And The Chipmunks and Superman.

In 1981, Hanna-Barbera’s parent company Taft Entertainment acquired Ruby-Spears Productions and the catalog went to Turner Broadcasting in 1991. Ruby went on to produce Punky Brewster, Lazer Tag Academy, Centurions, Rambo, Sectaurs and Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos throughout the ’80s.

Our thoughts are with Ruby’s family and friends at this time.