Eugene "Gene" Merril Deitch, the Oscar-winning American director, illustrator, animator, and comic artist, died in Prague. The cause of the death has not been confirmed yet, but his publisher, Petr Himmel, confirmed the news of his passing, saying that Gene died "unexpectedly". Munro went on to become the first animated short film not made in the United States of America to win an Oscar.
Gene is said to have worked as a draftsman for North American aviation before joining the military and pilot training, as reported by The Daily Mail.
Born in Illinois, Chicago on August 8, 1924, Deitch moved to California as a child.
He moved to Prague later in 1959 and fell in love with his future wife, Zdenka, and stayed in the Czechoslovakian capital.
Deitch is survived by Marie, his first wife, whom he married in 1943 and their three sons from the union - Kim, Simon and Seth respectively.
Prior to this, he created the "Tom Terrific" series, while his co-produced short film, "Sidney's Family Tree", was nominated for an Academy Award in 1958. Most famous for directing the popular cartoon series Tom and Jerry, the 95-year-old left for his heavenly abode last week. He was also nominated for the exact same award twice back in 1964 for Here's Nudnik along with How to Avoid Friendship.
Deitch, who won many awards, especially Oscar, was honored with the Winsor McCay Award in 2004. He created some of his best works while living in Prague. The children all followed in his footsteps and work as cartoonists and illustrator.
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