David H. DePatie, veteran animation executive and co-founder of Pink Panther studio DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, died of natural causes on September 23. He was 91.
DePatie began his career at Warner Bros., where his father was an executive (who would eventually become vp and general manager of the studio). David joined the in-house animation studio, then known as Warner Bros. Cartoons, becoming its last producer before it was shut in 1963.
The same year, DePatie teamed up with veteran WB director Friz Freleng to form their namesake studio, DePatie–Freleng Enterprises. Freleng was the creative director while DePatie oversaw the operational side. The pair didn’t have to move: they managed to lease WB’s old animation studio on in Burbank. Many ex-WB artists would come to work for them.