Joseph Clemens Ruby (March 30, 1933August 26, 2020) was an American animator
editor, writer, and producer
. He was the founder of television animation production company Ruby-Spears Productions
, together with Ken Spears
. They co-created the animated Scooby-Doo
franchise beginning with ''Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
'' which debuted in September 1969 on CBS
Ruby was born on March 30, 1933 in Los Angeles
, the son of Canadian parents, Mildred Ruby (Fineberg) and Carl Ruby, a doctor. His family was Jewish. He attended Fairfax High School
. After graduating, he joined the United States Navy
and worked as a sonar operator on a destroyer during the Korean War
Ruby studied art and began his career in animation at Walt Disney Productions
in the inbetweening
department. He began as music editor, knowing it would take a long process to become an experienced animator, but nonetheless pursued his passion at the side as a freelance comic book artist and writer.
[ He later worked for a short time in live-action television editing before moving to Hanna-Barbera Productions, where he met Ken Spears.] The two men teamed up to become writers for several animated and live-action television programs, both freelance and as on-staff writers, starting at Hanna-Barbera in 1959, before leaving the studio due to a wish to become associate producers. They also worked as writers for Sid and Marty Krofft Television Productions and DePatie–Freleng Enterprises.
For Hanna-Barbera, Ruby and Spears created Scooby-Doo and the related characters. The concept began with ''Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!'' which debuted on CBS in September 1969. Their other series for the company were ''Dynomutt, Dog Wonder'', Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!, and ''Jabberjaw'', among other programs. At DePatie–Freleng, they created ''The Barkleys'' and ''The Houndcats''. In the early 1970s, CBS president of children's programming Fred Silverman hired Ruby and Spears to supervise the production of CBS's Saturday morning cartoon lineup, a position they assumed at ABC when Silverman defected to that network. [Shostak, Stu (February 5, 2012).]
Wanting to create competition for Hanna-Barbera, ABC set Ruby and Spears up with their own studio in 1977, as a subsidiary of Filmways.
Interview with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
. ''Stu's Show.'' Retrieved March 18, 2013.
Ruby-Spears Productions produced animated series for Saturday mornings, among them ''Fangface'', ''The Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure Hour'', ''Thundarr the Barbarian'', ''Saturday Supercade'', ''Mister T'', ''Alvin and the Chipmunks'', and ''Superman'', among others. [Shostak, Stu (01-16-2013).]
Tribute To Joseph Barbera". ''Stu's Show.'' Retrieved 05-9-2019.
/ref> Ruby-Spears was bought by Hanna-Barbera's parent company, Taft Entertainment, in 1981, and its back catalog was sold along with the Hanna-Barbera library and studio in 1991 to Turner Broadcasting. Current reissues of Ruby-Spears shows on DVD and digital platforms are therefore copyrighted by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Ruby married his wife, Carole, in 1957. Together, they had four children: Cliff, Deanna, Craig and Debby. They remained married for 63 years until his death.
Ruby died of natural causes on August 26, 2020, at his home in Westlake Village, California, at the age of 87.
[ Dan Haskett made a dedication poster for Ruby's contribution to ''Scooby-Doo'' five days after his death.] [https://twitter.com/WB_Animation/status/1300529607666479105]
Category:Animators from California
Category:American television writers
Category:American male television writers
Category:American television producers
Category:American animated film producers
Category:Military personnel from California
Category:Writers from Los Angeles