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Robert Taylor, Director of ‘Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat,’ Dies at 70

Robert “Bob” Taylor, an award-winning animator, producer and director best known for animated TV series including “TaleSpin” and animated films such as “The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat,” died December 11 in Woodland Hills, Calif., of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 70.

Born in Boston, Taylor began his career in animation in 1966 at Terrytoons in New York with Ralph Bakshi. He worked on Bakshi’s X-rated animated feature “Fritz the Cat,” and in 1974 directed sequel “The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat,” which played in competition at Cannes. He also worked with Bakshi as an animator on “Heavy Traffic,” “Coonskin” and “Wizards.”

Taylor went on to direct the animated film “Heidi’s Song” in 1982 and animated TV series including Emmy award-winning “TaleSpin,” “Goof Troop,” “The Flintstone Kids,” and “Challenge of the GoBots.” Though he was uncredited, it was well known that Taylor was the co-director of Hanna-Barbera’s “Rock Odyssey,” which traced American history through a talking jukebox and was shelved for its graphic content.

After retirement, Taylor became an accomplished jazz guitarist. His son, Scott, followed his musical path as a composer for TV and film.

Taylor is survived by five children including son Scott and three grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 20, at 10 a.m. at the Oakwood Cemetery chapel in Chatsworth, Calif.

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