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Gary Sperling has passed away.
It wasn't a surprise. Though he never smoked a day in his life, he had lung cancer. Surgery to remove one of his lungs failed to halt the spread of the cancer, and a few minutes ago he passed away with his wife beside him.
Some of you may have met Gary at the 2001 Gathering in Los Angeles. I hope you did. I hope you got a chance to talk to him or at least listen to him. He was a phenomenally intelligent, reasonable and wonderful human being.
Gary was a lawyer by training, who gave up a lucrative career to do something he loved. Write. Specifically, he wrote cartoons. A lot of cartoons, mostly for Disney TV Animation. A very incomplete list of shows he worked on would include: Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, Nightmare Ned, Hercules, Buzz Lightyear, Max Steel and Kim Possible. (And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.)
He was a terrific writer and story editor, and a great friend. His contributions to Gargoyles are hard to measure. He was truly a rock on that show. Someone I could always count on. Listing his Gargoyles credits will give you a partial idea of just how much your enjoyment of the series was based on Gary's work...
UPGRADE - Story Editor
PROTECTION - Story Editor & Writer
HERITAGE - Story Editor
KINGDOM - Story Editor
GOLEM - Story Editor & Writer
M.I.A. - Story Editor
THE NEW OLYMPIANS - Story Editor
BUSHIDO - Story Editor & Writer
THE GATHERING, PART TWO - Co-Story Editor & Co-Teleplay Writer
TURF - Story Editor
THE RECKONING - Co-Story Editor & Teleplay Writer
In addition, he helped develop BAD GUYS and was the writer on the BAD GUYS Story Reel which I show every year at the Gathering.
Among other things, Gary turned Brooklyn into a leader, turned Dingo into a good guy, created both the London and Ishimura Clans and set the stage for Broadway and Angela to fall in love. If any of those things helped to make you a fan, then he's the reason.
Gary leaves behind a wife and two young children. Plus many other friends and family members who will miss him tremendously.