David DePatie, the animation producer who, along with partner Friz Freleng
created one of the most enduring and recognizable cartoon characters of the last
century in the Pink Panther, died Sept. 23 of natural causes in Gig Harbor, WA.
He was 91. His death was announced in a Seattle Times obituary
DePatie’s work stretched to Dr. Seuss television specials and Marvel Productions.
DePatie also contributed to many ABC Afterschool Specials, including the Emmy-
winning 1977 live-action/animation hybrid installment My Mom Is Having a Baby.
DePatie was also the last executive in charge of the original Warner Bros.
cartoon studio, as well as an executive producer at Marvel Productions.
After Warner Bros. closed its animation studio in 1963, DePatie’s production
company was formed at the former Warner cartoons studio on California Street in
Burbank, Calif. Director Blake Edwards contacted DePatie Freleng Enterprises and
asked them to design a panther character for “The Pink Panther” feature film, which
eventually led to a contract with the company to produce animated titles for the film.
The whimsical titles drew attention to the features, which had a successful run in
The 1960s and ’70s and were later revived.