Josie DeCarlo, the inspi­ra­tion for cartoon sensation singer-guitarist Josie McCoy of the 1970 Hanna-Barbera series Josie and the Pussy­cats, has passed away, according to a report in Big Cartoon News.

The character of Josie McCoy was drawn to resem­ble the real life Josie by her hus­band, comic book leg­end Dan DeCarlo, who died in 2001.


Josie McCoy was voiced by Janet Waldo in the orig­i­nal Josie and the Pussy­cats series, as well as the 1972 Hanna-Barbera shows Josie and the Pussy­cats in Outer Space and The New Scooby-Doo Movies.


DeCarlo described in a NY Times interview how she became the inspi­ra­tion for the leader of the Pussycats.


“We went on a Caribbean cruise, and I had a cos­tume for the cruise, and that’s the way it started,” Josie DeCarlo said of her cat suit, described in the lyrics of the orig­i­nal car­toon series’ theme song: “Josie and the Pussycats/Long tails and ears for hats.”

“The hairdo came after,” Josie DeCarlo said. “One day, I came in with a new hairdo with a lit­tle bow in my hair, and he said, ‘That’s it!’”

Dan DeCarlo then sketched his wife in that out­fit, and named the “star” after her when he went shop­ping to sev­eral syn­di­cates for a pro­posed news­pa­per strip, the article states.

Josie and the Pussycats were a staple of Saturday morning programming for kids and teens in the 1970's. Here is the intro from the show:

Then a clip of Josie and the Pussycats performing 'You've Come a Long Way Baby'

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