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J. Michael Mendel, producer of ‘Rick and Morty’ and ‘The Simpsons,’ dies at 54

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim confirmed Mendel’s death through a tweet late Monday.

The team from the “Pickle Rick” episode of “Rick and Morty,” winners of the award for outstanding animated program, poses for a portrait during night one of the Television Academy’s 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Los Angeles.
Vince Bucci, Invision via Associated Press

J. Michael Mendel, Emmy-winning producer of “Rick and Morty” and “The Simpsons,” died Sunday night two days before he turned 55.

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim confirmed Mendel’s death through a tweet late Monday.

“All of us at Adult Swim are devastated by the untimely passing of ‘Rick and Morty’ producer Mike Mendel,” the statement read. “He guided and supported a generation of artists, writers and creators and his absence will be felt by the entire community.”

“Rick and Morty” co-creator Justin Roiland also tweeted a tribute to Mendel, stating that he was “destroyed” and didn’t know what he was going to do without Mendel by his side.

“Rick and Morty” co-creator Dan Harmon also posted to social media mourning the loss.

“I can’t handle seeing his cropped photo in headlines with the word dead in them,” Harmon wrote in a post on Instagram. “‘Rick and Morty’ has lost Mike Mendel, a man that deserves a better obituary and in my angry opinion, a better god. That opinion is a projection of my shame. I took Mike for granted. He was always needed and he was always there. He’s going to be needed tomorrow and he won’t be there. The wound will scar but there will be a hole through everything we do from now on. I have only angry things to say for now, that’s how valuable Mike was.”

Mendel also worked as a post-production supervisor on “The Tracey Ullman Show,” which first aired “The Simpsons” before it became an independent series in 1989, according to the New York Post. Mendel also won four Emmys throughout his career.

According to CNN, the cause of Mendel’s death has not yet been confirmed.

Mendel is survived by his wife, Juel Bestrop, and their two children.