Josie DeCarlo passed away in her sleep at the age of 82.
In 1970, DeCarlo was the stimulus for singer-guitarist Josie McCoy in the cartoon series “Josie and the Pussycats,” made by Hanna-Barbera.
DeCarlo’s death was first reported by the blog Big Cartoon News. They quoted comic book and television writer Mark Evanier as stating “Josie was drawn to resemble her by her husband, comic book legend Dan DeCarlo, who died in 2001 at 82.”
Shortly after her husband’s death, Josie recalled how she became the inspiration for the cartoon.
“We went on a Caribbean cruise, and I had a costume for the cruise, and that’s the way it started,” Josie DeCarlo said of her cat suit. “The hairdo came after,” Josie DeCarlo said. “One day, I came in with a new hairdo with a little bow in my hair, and he said, ‘That’s it!'”
According to Evanier, Dan sketched his wife in the outfit, and gave her first name to the “star” when he went shopping to several syndicates for a proposed newspaper strip.
Josie Dumont met her husband on a blind date in Belgium, shortly after the Battle of the Bulge; she spoke no English and he spoke little French.
“We communicated with drawing, ” she said. “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.”
Funeral services will take place in Scarsdale, New York on Monday.