Iwao Takamoto, creator of Scooby-Doo and director of what is, for my money, the only version of Charlotte's Web we ever needed, has died at age 81. And he would have made it to 82 if it weren't for those meddling kids!
I can't begin to explain how much I adored Scooby-Doo as a kid. For my birthday one year, all I wanted was a Scooby-Doo record player. Never mind that they didn't make Scooby-Doo record players. Mama Shakes bought a little blue record player and decorated it with Scooby-Doo stickers. When I opened it, I thought it was the best thing I'd ever seen in my life. Many an evening was spent in my room dancing to my single of Eddie Rabbit's I Love a Rainy Night spinning away on that Scooby-Doo record player.
Takamoto also created another of my favorite characters, Muttley, who's got the Best Laugh Evah. He also did the ever-awesome Grape Ape, among others. Quite an astounding life, when you consider how many kids' lives he touched, how many people he made smile.
(Hat tip to Litbrit.)