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Ken Spears (1938–2020), Scooby-Doo co-creator

by Linnea Crowther

Ken Spears was a TV writer and producer best known for co-creating Scooby-Doo.

Scooby-Doo and more

Spears began working at Hanna-Barbera Productions as a young man, where he met Joe Ruby (1933 – 2020). The two began writing together, creating “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” for Hanna-Barbera. The animated series, following the adventures of a team of young crime-fighters, debuted in 1969 and has endured in a wide variety of animated and live-action versions. Spears and Ruby developed the characters and wrote and/or story edited all the episodes for the initial two-season series. Spears and Ruby also co-created cartoons including “Dynomutt,” “Dog Wonder,” and “Jabberjaw” for Hanna Barbera. In 1977, the pair founded Ruby-Spears Productions, where they produced animated series including “Thundarr the Barbarian,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” and “Mister T.” Spears was predeceased by his longtime writing partner less than three months ago.

Spears on Scooby’s popularity

“We were worried it wouldn’t last but one season, much less 38 years. It was up against ‘The Hardy Boys’ on NBC and we thought we’d get clobbered in the ratings.” —from an interview with ScoobyAddicts.com

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Tributes to Ken Spears

Full obituary: Variety

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