‘Rick and Morty’ and ‘The Simpsons’ Producer Dies Aged 54

September 24, 2019 Updated: September 24, 2019

Animation producer J. Michael Mendel, best known for his work on “The Simpsons” and “Rick and Morty,” has died aged 54.

A spokesperson for the production company Adult Swim said in an official statement that the four-time Emmy award-winner had passed away.

“All of us at Adult Swim are devastated by the untimely passing of Mike Mendel. Mike was the heart of the ‘Rick and Morty’ production family, his fantastic talent and wit will be sorely missed,” the statement read.

“Mike was a universally respected Emmy-winning producer with over 25 years in the industry, who guided and supported a generation of artists, writers, and creators and his absence will be felt by the entire community.

“Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time.”

Mendel worked on “Rick and Morty” from its debut in 2013, and five years later won an Emmy for his work on the show. His three other Emmys—in 1995, 1997, and 1998—were for “The Simpsons.”

Mendel’s wife, Emmy-winning casting director Juel Bestrop, told The Hollywood Reporter that he died of natural causes. He passed away on Sunday, Sept. 22, at the couple’s home in Studio City, California.

Besides being survived by his wife, Mendel leaves behind a son, Jacob, and daughter, Jesse.


Justin Roiland, co-creator and voice actor for “Rick and Morty,” took to Twitter to share his condolences.

“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.”

“The Simpsons” Executive Producer Mike Scully wrote: “Such a shock. We just talked on the phone for an hour two weeks ago. Loved his family, loved his @NYRangers, incredible at his job, truly funny, and just a really, really nice guy. Can’t believe it. RIP Mike Mendel.”

Al Jean, Executive Producer and Writer on “The Simpsons” wrote on Twitter: “V v sorry to learn of the passing of Mike Mendel (left) great guy. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Other co-workers of Mendel’s expressed condolences, with Story Artist Richard Pose writing on Twitter: “Came into work to the news that our boss, leader, friend, line-producer Mike Mendel passed away. He was the most honest, trusting producer I’ve worked for.”

Animation Production Designer Carol Wyatt wrote: “Mike Mendel was the best person, producer, friend, soul a person could have in this crazy business! I will miss him so much.”

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