Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

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Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby SgtNateV » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:02 pm

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About an hour ago, I learned that writer and all around family guy Larry DiTillio had passed away after a long illness. He was a good and kind man, and I wanted to tell you a little about him.

I met Larry while working on He-Man at Filmation Studios. Technically, five days after I started working there because I’d never worked on a TV show before, and buckled down to try and learn as much as I could as fast as I could, and never had the fortitude to go across the hall to introduce myself because it was clear that Larry was the brains behind much of the He-Man mythos. He was a world builder and a fierce creative force, so I wanted to stake out my territory and earn the courage to talk to him.

So that Friday, having turned in what would be my fourth script for the show (the others were written on a freelance basis), I finally ventured across the hall and introduced myself. “So far, so good,” I said. “To be honest, I wasn’t sure I could do this job.”

“That’s okay,” Larry said “I wasn’t sure you could do it either.”

And with that we became friends.

We had lunch together most every day, and each Wednesday we would go to the comics store to pick up that week’s load and stop at Arby’s for whatever the hell they make there. We sometimes had a shoot-out to determine who could turn in a script faster from a standing start. To keep things interesting we sometimes declared war on each other, randomly and for no particular reason other than it amused us, leading to the day he literally tried to burn my office down, which for everyone else at Filmation was just another day at the office.

If he sometimes had a tendency to talk more than listen, that was okay, because everything he had to say was interesting, and funny, and you knew that if there was something important you had to say, he would give it his undivided attention. He helped everyone who ever needed it, and never asked for anything in return.

When Filmation tried to neuter She-Ra and to add insult to injury refused to give us story editor credit for the work we were doing, I forced the issue that we had to leave. Larry didn’t want to go (neither did I, to be honest), but I finally prevailed and he agreed that leaving was the right thing to do. “Just so you understand,” he said as we packed up that day, “remember that I’m Italian, and if I don’t work again because of this, I’m going to hunt you down and kill you.”

“Fair deal,” I said.

Fortunately we found work quickly at DIC on Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and when I got the gig story editing 78 half-hours of The Real Ghostbusters Larry was the first guy I called to write for me. I did this again when I worked on Captain Power, when I needed a co-host on Hour 25, the radio show we did for KPFK for five years, and then again on Babylon 5, where I brought him in as story editor for the first two seasons. I used to joke that this was because I was never entirely sure when the contract on my life might expire, but mainly because he was just that good.

Larry never pulled his punches, and that frankness requires stating that we did have our differences from time to time. Larry could be fractious, and I think he sometimes resented being brought on by me as a lieutenant. He was talented enough to be a show-runner on his own, and being constantly a second-in-command chafed to the point that he began carving out his own pocket universe in B5. He wanted to show that he could do what I was doing, which for me was never even a question, I just didn’t want him doing it when I was trying to tell a story in a straight line in a way that no one had ever done before. But things became increasingly difficult between us, the friendship strained and broke, and we parted ways after season two.

We didn’t speak again for nearly ten years. And that was very hard for me. I don’t make friends often or easily, and Larry was probably my closest friend, right alongside Harlan Ellison. We’d celebrated birthdays and went to conventions together, shared a love of comics and terrible movies and he even got me to do some gaming for a while, which was his greatest love, and we had dinner together more times than I can even begin to count. And now all that was gone, and I was lost.

After a while we drifted back into each other’s lives, just a bit…doing commentary on the DVDs for Captain Power, and Ghostbusters, meeting for the occasional dinner, but it was never again what it had once been. Some things you just don’t come back from all the way, you know?

Nonetheless: for almost fifteen years Larry DiTillio had been my best friend, and though we fell apart later his passing is still a knife. He was a good and kind man, a ridiculously talented writer, a fierce intelligence, a loving father and husband, a fiery Italian, loyal friend and one of the funniest guys I have ever had the privilege to know. And I wish we had spent more time together.

And now that’s not possible.

And I will regret that forever.

Godspeed, Larry. You will be missed.

Yr pal, Joe
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Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby william-james88 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:45 pm

It is with great sadness that we let you know of the passing of Larry DiTillio, at 79 years old. He was one of the two main story editors for Beast Wars (the other being Bob Forward), the show that saved the Transformers Brand in the 90s and introduced it to a whole new generation. It is very easy to say in this case that if it were not for this man, the brand we all love would not be where it is today. For those curious, here are the episodes he wrote for Beast Wars:

"The Web"
"Power Surge"
"The Spark"
"Spider's Game"
"Other Voices, Part 1" (written together with Bob Forward)
"Other Voices, Part 2"
"Aftermath"
"Other Visits (Part 1)"
"Other Visits (Part 2)"
"Deep Metal"
"Other Victories"

He and Bob Forward also wrote together the Transformers Animated episode "Predacons Rising" (not to be confused with the Transformers: Prime TV movie of the same name).

His passing was announced by an old colleague of his, J. Michael Straczynski. We wish to extend our deepest condolences to Mr. DiTillio's family. May he rest in peace.

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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Nemesis Maximo » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:14 pm

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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:25 pm

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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Black Bumblebee » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:51 pm

It should also be noted that he wrote quite a bit for He-Man and She-Ra (he actually named her She-Ra, Mattel wanted to call her Hera), as well as being the story editor and writer for Babylon 5 (which is still one of my favorite scifi shows of all time). The guy was talented and shaped many of our childhoods.
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby TulioDude » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:36 pm

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Much respect for him.Thank you for all you work,in Beast Wars and other cartoons.
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby o.supreme » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:36 pm

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Such sad news indeed... :( . One of the very first e-mails I ever sent was to Larry DiTillio, back in 1996 when I was taking courses in college and getting newly acquainted with the internet. They were silly fan boyish e-mails, probably 2 or 3, but he answered them all quickly, respectfully, and with genuine thought (not just a one-liner, but a couple paragraphs at least). I also had the privateer to meet him and Bob Forward at BC 98. So glad I have those memories. He had a great imagination, and a great talent for writing children's TV during those formative years into my early adulthood. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby PhunkJunkion » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:58 pm

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It's very sad to know he passed. He has, however, certainly left a legacy that will live on after him through his writing. RIP
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:27 pm

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Without him, without Beast Wars, we probably wouldn't have all this.

Thank you, sir. :MAXIMAL: :PREDACON:
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Decepticon Stryker » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:11 pm

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Wow... This hurts. I don't even know what to say. Thank you, Mr. DiTillio, we'll miss you.
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Skritz » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:34 pm

Well there goes a part of my childhood. :(
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby steve2275 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:54 pm

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rest in peace and thank you Larry DiTillio
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Dominus Prime » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:27 pm

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Another great lost to us. May his legacy influence and inspire future generations as it did ours. Rest in peace
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Hellscream9999 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:49 pm

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My life literally wouldn't be the same without him, I grew up watching beast wars, he was clearly a phenomenal writer, both he and forward were masters of character writing, I will miss him :(

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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Sabrblade » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:42 pm

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The California Raisin Show
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Swamp Thing
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Peter Pan and the Pirates
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Murder, She Wrote
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Babylon 5
Hypernauts
Beast Wars: Transformers
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)
Kong: The Animated Series
Transformers: Animated


Whether it was just one episode or many, the man did writing work for all of these shows.

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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Bumblevivisector » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:18 pm

Wow, I'd have to do some serious homework to know exactly how much joy this man brought to my childhood and adolescence...and he's already gone.

I remember when the G2 comic ended and I thought TF might really be finished before long, but the Swarm reforming and going off to start new life elsewhere struck just the right note of hope that things might work out, even if no one had any clue how at the time. Well, Mr. DiTillio must have read that book too, since the Vok were initially supposed to be what the Swarm turned into. Maybe that's why Beast Wars' story ultimately won me over despite my initial negative reaction to the toyline: he picked up on that final note and wove it into something I never could've imagined.

Well, here's hoping his creative legacy never stops being passed to new generations of storytellers.
Last edited by Bumblevivisector on Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby GeekyGamer Gal » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:01 am

There will be a Beast Wars marathon in your honor Mr.DiTillio.

Thank you for helping to shape my childhood. :MAXIMAL: :PREDACON:
You know, as a kid I never made the connection between the G1 Sideswipe toy my brother passed down to me and the characters in the Beast Wars show on TV, until Michael Bay had Sideswipe as a Corvette.
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby o.supreme » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:58 am

Motto: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"
Sabrblade wrote:Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
Those Mad, Mad Moviemakers
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983)
He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword
She-Ra: Princess of Power
Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling
Centurions
Galaxy High School
Bionic Six
Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
Ruby-Spears' Superman
The California Raisin Show
Captain Power: The Beginning
The Real Ghostbusters
Swamp Thing
Deadly Nightmares
Peter Pan and the Pirates
The Hidden Room
Murder, She Wrote
Conan: The Adventurer
Babylon 5
Hypernauts
Beast Wars: Transformers
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)
Kong: The Animated Series
Transformers: Animated


Whether it was just one episode or many, the man did writing work for all of these shows.
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Thank you. I knew he had quite a prolific career. I've heard of all/ watched or partially watched all of these but 4. I own 10 of them on DVD, and while positive terms are certainly objective. IMHO, he definitely wrote some of the best episodes of the series that he was involved in.
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Re: Larry DiTillio, the writer of Beast Wars, has just passed away.

Postby Zeedust » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:22 pm

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Larry DiTillio was an integral part of several shows that meant so much to so many people, an no words can suffice to mark the passing of such a man. Rest in peace, you will be missed.

Beast Wars is what brought me into Transformers, and will always hold a special place in my heart.
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