Hailing Mendel’s “fantastic talent”, a statement from Rick & Morty‘s TV network Adult Swim confirmed: “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.
“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.”
In an emotional post on Twitter, Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland said of Mendel’s passing: “I don’t know what I’m going to do without you by my side Mike. I’m destroyed.”
Mendel first joined The Simpsons in 1989 after leaving The Tracey Ullman Show when the now iconic animation, which began life on Ullman, was given its own series.
Up until 1999, Mendel also scored credits as a producer on 207 Simpsons episodes and bagged three Emmys in 1995, 1997, and 1998. A fourth came twenty years later in 2018 for his work as a line producer on Rick and Morty after working on the show for four years.
As well as working on classic films such as Jerry Maguire and Big, other notable animation credits included The PJs, created by Eddie Murphy, and the Napoleon Dynamite TV series.
Mendel is survived by his wife, Emmy winning casting director Juel Bestrop.