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Everett Peck, the illustrator and cartoonist who created the irreverent Jason Alexander-starring animated series Duckman, has died. He was 71.
Peck died Tuesday in Solana Beach, California, of complications from a long battle with pancreatic cancer, his wife, Helen, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Peck created Duckman for a 1990 one-off comic book published by Dark Horse Comics while pitching the idea for an adults-only animated series. It finally made it to the air in 1994 on the USA Network via Klasky-Csupo (the original production company behind The Simpsons), ran four seasons through 1997 and was nominated for three Emmys.
“Duckman represents the plight of the little guy in an ever more complex and demanding world,” Peck said in a 2009 interview. “Like many of us, he struggles to break even but is ultimately squashed by powers far beyond his control.”
Alexander portrayed Eric Tiberius Duckman, the self-loathing “private dick/family man” who lives with his dead wife, sister, two kids and mother-in-law. (Seinfeld was just getting going when Alexander signed on.)
“Jason was still fairly unknown at that time,” Peck said in another 2009 chat. “He was able to do the rapid-fire delivery the way the show was written, had a great sense of comic timing and a good quality to his voice.”
On Twitter, Alexander wrote that “it was an honor to voice his beloved character and a joy to have known Everett. He was one of a glorious kind.”
I have just sadly learned of the passing of Everett Peck, the genius animator and cartoonist who brought Duckman to life. It was an honor to voice his beloved creation and a joy to have known Everett. He was one of a glorious kind. My best to his family&friends#ripeverettpeck
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) June 17, 2022
Nancy Travis, Gregg Berger, Tim Curry and Dweezil Zappa (his father, Frank Zappa, composed the theme song) also voiced characters on the show.
Peck also created the 2006-07 Cartoon Network series Squirrel Boy; that one featured an anthropomorphic character like Duckman and starred Richard Steven Horvitz and Pamela Adlon.
Born in San Diego on Oct. 9, 1950, Peck earned a degree in illustration from Cal State Long Beach and took over the illustration program at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1984. He then did projects with Klasky-Csupo for Sesame Street and helped start the animation division at Sony.
His résumé also included work on Rugrats, The Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, Dragon Tales, Jumanji, The Critic and Sammy.
In 2014, he returned to Cal State Long Beach to teach.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his children, Emily and Spencer; stepdaughter Paloma; and granddaughter Sidley.
His death was announced Thursday with identical posts on his Facebook and Instagram pages. “Mr. Peck has left the studio,” they read.
11:05 p.m. Updated with additional details about his death, additional survivors and his correct place of birth.
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