Robert Taylor, Animator of X-rated 'Fritz the Cat,’ Dies at 70

CHATSWORTH, Calif. — Robert Taylor, who was best known for his animation on "Fritz the Cat," the first X-rated cartoon, has died.

"Fritz the Cat," released in 1972 and based on a comic strip by Robert Crumb, featured a randy pot-smoking cat whose wild New York City adventures involved sexual encounters.  

"Fritz the Cat" was so successful that it led to a sequel in 1974, "The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat," which Taylor then directed, co-wrote, and animated.

Taylor began his career in animation in 1966 at Terrytoons in New York with Ralph Bakshi, who conceived the idea of the series. He also worked with Bakshi as an animator on “Heavy Traffic,” “Coonskin” and “Wizards," as well as TV productions such as “Goof Troop” and “The Flintstone Kids."

Taylor, 70, died Dec. 11 following complications from the lung disease. Taylor is survived by five children and three grandchildren.

A memorial service was held earlier this month in Chatsworth, Calif.