Norman Prescott, co-founder of prolific cartoon studio Filmation, died of natural causes on July 2 in Los Angeles. The 78-year-old former chairman and exec producer leaves behind a inheritance of TV animation involving such iconic franchises as Superman, Batman, The Archies, Tarzan, Flash Gordon and He-Man.
Following a successful run as a Boston radio personality, Prescott went on to produce the independent animated feature Pinocchio in Outer Space in 1961, which he followed with Journey Back to Oz.
Prescott and Lou Scheimer established Filmation in 1963, getting the ball rolling with The New Adventures of Superman. The studio picked up an Emmy for the Star Trek animated series in 1975 and was nominated for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Live-action efforts included the fantasy and sci-fi series Jason of Star Command, Shazam, Isis, Ark II and Space Academy.
In addition to many half-hours of toon programming, Prescott’s heritage lives on with The New England Institute of Art in Brookline, Mass., which he founded in 1952 as the Norm Prescott School of Broadcasting. His sons have followed in his footsteps. Jeffrey is a radio host and reporter in San Diego, Calif., and Michael is a film and TV producer. He is also survived by his wife of 53 years, Elaine, and three grandchildren.