J. Michael Mendel, an Emmy-winning animation producer best known for his work on The Simpsons and Rick and Morty has died. He was 54.
Mendel began working on popular Adult Swim series Rick and Morty when it launched in 2013. The cable network released a statement Monday calling him the “heart” of the show’s production team.
“All of us at Adult Swim are devastated by the untimely passing of Mike Mendel,” the statement began. “Mike was the heart of the Rick and Morty production family, his fantastic talent and wit will be sorely missed.”
“Mike was a universally respected Emmy-winning producer with over 25 years in the industry, who guided and supported a generation of artists, writers and creators and his absence will be felt by the entire community,” the statement continued. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”
Justin Roiland, co-creator of the series, shared a tribute on Twitter.
“My friend, partner, and line producer Mike Mendel passed away,” Roiland tweeted Monday. “I am devastated. My heart breaks for his family. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you by my side Mike. I’m destroyed.”
Mendel won four Emmys for his work on The Simpsons and Rick and Morty.
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