Norman Prescott, chairman, co-founder and exec producer at Filmation Studios, died July 2 of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 78.
He teamed with Lou Scheimer to start Filmation Studios in 1965. He acquired the rights from National Periodicals to produce the “Superman” animated series, which led to Filmation’s first big success.
Filmation went on to garner two Emmy noms in 1974 for the animated series “Star Trek” and “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.” The following year, “Star Trek” took home the laurel.
Other Filmation successes in children’s programming include the toons “The Archies,” “Batman,” “Tarzan,””Flash Gordon” and many more. “Plus, live-action shows include “Shazam,” “Isis,” “Ark II” and “Space Academy.”
Boston native and Air Force veteran Prescott started as a popular radio personality in his hometown, becoming program director at WORL at 21.
In 1952, he founded the Norm Prescott School of Broadcasting, later renamed the Northeast Broadcasting School and currently the New England Institute of Art, located in Brookline, Mass.
In 1959, Joseph E. Levine appointed him vice president of music, merchandising and post-production at newly formed Embassy Pictures Corp. His first assignment was to supervise the music and post-production for the motion picture “Hercules.”
Two years later, he independently produced his first full-length animated feature, “Pinocchio in Outer Space,” released through Universal. That was followed by “Journey Back to Oz,” featuring the voice of Liza Minelli as Dorothy.
Later, Turner Broadcasting had his company produce a domestic version of 85 animated half-hour shows acquired from Japan for television and cable syndication.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elaine; two sons, Jeffrey, a San Diego radio host/reporter, and Michael, a film-TV producer; and three grandchildren.