American television and film writer and producer, and North American anime pioneer Fred Ladd (Fred Laderman) passed away on August 3, 2021. He was 94 years old at the time of his passing.
Ladd was instrumental in introducing anime to North America. In 1963, he re-edited and re-dubbed the Tetsuwan Atom anime, based on Osamu Tezuka’s manga, into Astro Boy. This was the first anime to air in North America. He also produced the Gigantor (Iron Man 28) and Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor Leo) anime in the 1960s. In the 1990’s, Ladd was a creative consultant for DiC Entertainment’s original English dub of Sailor Moon.
Ladd was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1927. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1949 with degrees in radio and speech. Prior to his work on Astro Boy, Ladd re-edited and redubbed European cartoons into English. Ladd also worked as a writer on animated shows such as The Incredible Hulk, MASK, and Ghostbusters. He also co-wrote a book with Harvey Deneroff titled Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas: An Insider’s View of the Birth of a Pop Culture Phenomenon.