J. Michael Mendel, the Emmy-winning animation producer, best known for his work on The Simpsons and Rick and Morty has died. He was 54.
He began working on well-known Adult Swim series Rick and Morty when it premiered in 2013. The cable network called him the “heart” of the show’s production team, in a statement released Monday.
The statement read: “All of us at Adult Swim are devastated by the untimely passing of Mike Mendel.” They called him “the heart of the Rick and Morty production family,” and that his great “talent and wit will be sorely missed.”
The statement continued that Mike dedicated over 25 years in the industry and “guided and supported a generation of artists, writers and creators, and his absence will be felt by the entire community.”
Furthermore, the statement shared- “Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time.”
The co-creator of the series, Justin Roiland also shared a tribute on Twitter.
Roiland tweeted Monday that his “friend, partner, and line producer Mike Mendel passed away.” Roiland expressed sadness, writing “I am devastated” and that his “heart breaks for his family.” He also added that he didn’t know what he will do without Mendal, saying, “I’m destroyed.”
My friend, partner, and line producer Mike Mendel passed away. 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.
— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) September 23, 2019
The career of J. Michael Mendel
Mendel first served as a production assistant on All My Children and Loving.
After his graduation, he worked with James L. Brooks on Big and The Tracey Ullman Show. When Tracey Ullman‘s The Simpsons were spun off into their own series, Mendel joined as the show’s producer, serving from season 1 to 10. Meanwhile, Mendel won four Emmys for his work on The Simpsons.
After departing from The Simpsons, Michael produced various shows. This includes The PJs, The Oblongs, Drawn Together, Sit Down, Shut Up, and Napoleon Dynamite. After that, in 2013, Mendel joined Rick and Morty, where he won his fourth Emmy Award.