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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

David DePatie, producer behind the Pink Panther, dies at 91

When the market for theatrical cartoons dried up, Mr. DePati and Mr. Freleng focused on television.

They made more cartoons featuring the Pink Panther, as well as Warner Bros. characters, Bugs Bunny and Duffy Duck, as well as Marvel comic characters such as the Fantastic Four. The studio also directed the TV series “Here Comes the Grump” about the hot-tempered wizard, voiced by Rip Taylor.

At the time, DePati-Freleng’s main TV contenders were Hanna-Barbera and Filmation.

“Freeze and David were close to the top because they had been making theatrical cartoons for so long,” said Mark Arnold, author of Think Pink! The story of DePati-Freleng “(2016), – said in an interview. “They tried to make their cartoons a little better.”

In addition, they have produced several episodes of ABC Afterschool Specials. One, My Mom’s Having a Baby, which combines live action with animation, earned Mr. DePatie and Mr. Freleng a Daytime Emmy. They also won an Emmy for Outstanding Animation for their collaboration with Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) on two short films: Halloween – Grinch Night (1977) and The Grinch The Grinch Cat in the Hat (1982).

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After Mr. DePati and Mr. Freleng ended their partnership in 1980, Mr. DePati joined Marvel Productions as Founding President. He worked with Stan Lee, a writer and editor synonymous with Marvel comics, on cartoons and films until his retirement in 1984. In the same year, he and Mr. Freleng reunited briefly to introduce Hannah to The Pink Panther & Sons. -Barbera. Mr. Freleng died in 1995.

In addition to his son David Jr., Mr. DePatie is survived by his wife Marcia (McPherson) DePati and two other sons, Steve and Mike. His marriages to Ann Stevens and Beverly McKay ended in divorce.

Mr. DePati recalled that following a deal with United Artists and the Mirisch Company to produce the Pink Panther animated short films, he demanded 25 percent of the cartoon copyright, which has proven critical to the success of his company. Mr. DePatie approached Harold Mirisch, one of the three brothers who owned Mirisch.

“He jumped up, screamed and said, ‘Get out of here,’” Mr. DePati said in 2010.

But a week later, Mr. Mirish conceded. The Pink Panther factory was opened.

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