Fred Laderman (Fred Ladd), the North American producer of Astro Boy, passed away on Aug 3. He was 94 years old.
Fred Ladd is one of the essential members of the early anime industry in North America, helping to promote and popularize Japanese anime in the United States. He transformed the Japanese animated series Tetsuwan Atomu into the long-running series known as Astro Boy, the first anime to air in America.
Ladd remained involved within the early anime imports working with Gigantor (Iron man 28) for Trans-lux and Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor Leo) for NBC Enterprises in the 1960s. He was also the creative consultant for DiC Entertainment’s English dub of “Sailor Moon.” and was in charge of having various black-and-white cartoons for his company, Color Systems Inc., such as Looney Tunes, Betty Boop, and others, to be redrawn colorized in South Korea.
“Fred Ladd was a true pioneer. His early work with Dr. Tezuka brought anime to North America, as well as popularized a budding industry in Japan. I think you could safely say, without his efforts, we wouldn’t have anime as we do today. It was an honor to work with him to restore and release these classic works over the years, and I know that it brought him great happiness to see them continue to be enjoyed by new generations of fans.” Said Shawne Kleckner, CEO, and co-founder of Right Stuff International. Source:animenewsnetwork.com
Laderman was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1927 and graduated from Ohio State University in 1949. He began dubbing European cartoons with his radio and speech degrees before moving on to anime dubbing. His book Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas: An Insider’s View of the Birth of a Pop Culture Phenomenon was published in 2008.