"It makes me so happy that Gene Deitch is finally getting the attention he deserved. he was so much more than the "Tom & Jerry" reputation he built up. he'll forever be missed," one devastated admirer tweeted.
"I’m so disheartened to hear about gene Deitch. May he rest in peace, and may his legacy continue to be honored for decades to come," another penned.
"You lived the artist life and impacted countless generations. It'll never be forgotten."
"Salut to you, sir. You made our childhood full of entertainment. Rest in peace."
Born in 1924 in Chicago, the comics artist worked as a draftsman for North American Aviation before entering the military and undergoing pilot training. After he was discharged due to medical reasons, he settled in Prague where his career eventually took off.
The legendary animator star is best known for directing 13 episodes of the popular animated series, Tom and Jerry. He also worked on the famous Popeye the Sailor series and received the Winsor McCay Award in 2004 for his lifelong contribution to animation.
The Tom Terrific series creator was also a popular filmmaker and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1960 for his hit flick, Munro. He was also nominated for the same award twice in 1964 for Here’s Nudnik and How to Avoid Friendship.
He is survived by his wife Zdenka— who he met after arriving in Prague in 1959— and three sons from his first marriage. All of them are cartoonists and illustrators.
Rest in peace. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.