Monday, March 19, 2012
Josie DeCarlo, Woman Who Inspired 'Josie and the Pussycats,' Dies

Josie DeCarlo, Woman Who Inspired 'Josie and the Pussycats,' Dies

Josie DeCarlo, the inspiration for the animated show "Josie and the Pussycats," has died in her sleep, Big Cartoon News reports. Her cause of death and age are not being immediately released.

Josie DeCarlo was the wife of famed comic book artist Dan DeCarlo, who is perhaps best known for his work developing Archie Comics. He also created "Josie and the Pussycats" as well as "Sabrina the Teenaged Witch." Dan DeCarlo died in 2001, at age 82.

In a New York Times interview shortly after the cartoonist's death, Josie DeCarlo explained how the cartoon character based on her appearance came about.

"We went on a Caribbean cruise, and I had a [cat] costume for the cruise, and that's the way it started," she revealed.

But the character wasn't quite completed with just the cat costume. Josie continued, "The hairdo came after. One day, I came in with a new hairdo with a little bow in my hair, and he said, 'That's it!'"

While the character of Josie is best remembered for the comic books, TV series, and movie "Josie and the Pussycats," she did not start out there. Josie was first introduced as a character in an issue of Archie Comics in 1962.

The character then stepped out into her own comic book called "She's Josie," a year later. The comic was well received and soon changed its name to "Josie." It was not until issue number 45 was released that the comic series switched its name to "Josie and the Pussycats."

Josie DeCarlo was originally from France and she met her husband before he knew how to speak very much French, Big Cartoon News reports. But that didn't seem to slow them down.

"We communicated with drawing, " Josie said in a New York Times Interview just after her husband's death. "He would draw things for me to make me understand what he had in mind. He was really so amusing. Instead of just using words, he would use cartoons to express himself. Right away, we knew that we were meant for each other."

The couple had two sons, Dan Jr. and Jim. Josie DeCarlo is survived by her two grandchildren.