Legendary producer and director of holiday specials, Jules Bass dies at 87
Jules Bass of the legendary animation team Rankin Bass passed away aged 87 at an assisted living facility in New York. The cause of death was not listed but was confirmed by his publicist Jennifer Fisherman-Ruff. His death comes after his daughter, Jean Nicole Bass who died aged 61 in January this year.
Bass was renowned for his work with partner Arthur Rankin Jr, who passed away back in 2014 as they gave the world some iconic all-time holiday specials‚ the most notable of which was 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'. Their other works included 'The Little Drummer Boy', 'Frosty the Snowman', and 'Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town'.
'Rudolph' premiered in 1964 and is still in TV syndication today. "The song ('Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town') was very popular and certainly we had that in the show," Bass previously told The Television Academy about the Fred Astaire-starring special. "We invented a situation where he was a young Santa Claus and we followed him in his through his maturity and how he began to make toys and give them out and finally became the Santa Claus that we know. But we had him in, he was unrecognizable as a young person, and then eventually he grew the beard but it was a he was a redhead," he explained.
The holiday specials success also spawned sequels with 'Rudolph's Shiny New Year' in 1976 and 'Frosty's Christmas' in July 1979. The duo also tried their hand at Easter as a theme with 'The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town', 'Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey', according to Variety. However, their work didn't stop just with the Christmas holiday specials. Bass also doubled up as a producer in the animated adaption of 'The Hobbit' and with Rankin also collaborated on 'The Return of the King'. They also served as producers of the blockbuster series 'Thundercats' and 'The Jackson 5ive' animated series. With this, the era of the two producing some memorable content comes to an end.