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Remembering Lou Scheimer

20 Oct, 2013 By: John Latchem

Animation legend Lou Scheimer died Oct. 17. He was 84.

Scheimer, as co-founder of the Filmation studio, was responsible for many memorable cartoons from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. The one that stood out most to me growing up was the “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” cartoon, one of the first shows with a toy-line tie-in. In addition to serving as executive producer, Scheimer voiced Orko on the series.

He also had a significant impact on the “Star Trek” franchise, as Filmation produced the “Star Trek” animated series in 1973 and 1974. While it lasted only 22 episodes, it included the voices of most of the original series cast and proved there was still a demand for new “Star Trek” adventures, which paid off later when the franchise expanded into films and spinoff TV series.

I had occasion to interview Scheimer back in 2006, one of the first feature interviews I did for Home Media Magazine. The piece, heralding the arrival of “She-Ra” on DVD, was included with the first issue of Agent DVD and distributed at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con International.

Scheimer was friendly and inviting and willing to talk about almost every aspect of his career in animation. He was 77 at the time and demonstrated great recall of many of the various series he had worked on, from “Star Trek,” to Superman and Batman cartoons in the 1960s and 1970s, “He-Man,” “The Archies,” “Fat Albert,” “The Groovie Ghoulies” and more. Filmation also produced a number of live-action kids’ shows in the 1970s, including “Shazam” and “The Ghost Busters” (which wasn’t related to the better-known 1984 Ghostbusters movie, which had to license the name from Filmation).

We spoke during two phone calls that lasted about an hour each. I later had a chance to meet Lou in person at Comic-Con, where he was signing copies of the “She-Ra” DVD at the booth for Tower Records (which still existed in 2006). He was gracious enough to sign a copy of the article I had written, which I still have hanging on my wall.

Lou will be missed, but his legacy and influence will live on through the DVDs and reruns of his work, and the countless children he entertained.

Here’s me at Comic-Con in 2006 with Lou Scheimer and his daughter, Erika, who provided many voices for Filmation series.


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