LOS ANGELES — Lou Scheimer, who founded the Filmation animation studio that produced Saturday morning cartoons including “Fat Albert” and “The Archie Show,” has died. He was 84.
The Pittsburgh native behind the cartoon powerhouse died on Thursday, two days before his 85th birthday, Scheimer’s wife Mary Ann said on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Scheimer’s company was the largest animation operation in the country in the early 1980s by number of employees.
The son of a German Jew whose father, according to family lore, once throttled a young Adolf Hitler, graduated with an art degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, founded the company in 1962 with a $5,000 loan from his mother-in-law and opened a one-room office in Southern California.
His first big hit was “The New Adventures of Superman” and the studio went on to work on series including “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” and “The Archie Show.”
He won a Daytime Emmy Award as a producer of the 1974-75 season of the “Star Trek” animated series.
In 1969, Filmation was sold to a cable operator that was bought by Westinghouse. Scheimer continued to head Filmation but was told to cut costs and in 1987 announced that some work would be shipped overseas.
In 1989, Filmation was bought by a French investor group that closed the company’s Woodland Hills plant and fired most employees.
Scheimer retired several years ago. He is survived by his wife, his daughter, Erika and his son, Lane.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press