LOS ANGELES (AP) — Iwao Takamoto, the animator who created the beloved Scooby-Doo and directed the cartoon classic "Charlotte's Web," has died. He was 81.
Takamoto died Monday of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Warner Bros. spokesman Gary Miereanu said.
In a career that spanned more than six decades, Takamoto assisted in the designs of some of the biggest animated features and television shows for Disney and the Hanna-Barbera animation team. They included Cinderella
, Peter Pan
, Lady and the Tramp
, 101 Dalmatians
, The Jetsons
and The Flintstones
But it was his creation of Scooby-Doo, the cowardly dog with an adventurous heart, that captivated audiences and endured for generations.
Takamoto said he created Scooby-Doo after talking with a Great Dane breeder and named him after Frank Sinatra's final phrase in Strangers in the Night
The breeder "showed me some pictures and talked about the important points of a Great Dane, like a straight back, straight legs, small chin and such," Takamoto said in a recent talk at Cartoon Network Studios.
"I decided to go the opposite and gave him a hump back, bowed legs, big chin and such. Even his color is wrong."
Takamoto also created other famous cartoon dogs such as Astro from The Jetsons
and Muttley, the mixed-breed that appeared in several Hanna-Barbera animations. He also directed the 1973 feature Charlotte's Web
Takamoto was survived by his wife, Barbara, son Michael and stepdaughter Leslie.
Funeral arrangements were pending.