Josie and the Pussycats” model Josie DeCarlo dies

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Josie and the Pussycats

Josie and the Pussycats

Josie DeCarlo, the inspi­ra­tion for singer-guitarist Josie McCoy of the 1970 Hanna-Barbera series Josie and the Pussy­cats and its suc­ces­sors, has died in her sleep, car­toon and comics his­to­rian Mark Evanier said Wednes­day. Her age was not imme­di­ately available.

Josie was drawn to resem­ble her by her hus­band, comic book leg­end Dan DeCarlo, who died in 2001 at 82.

The char­ac­ter of Josie McCoy was voiced by Janet Waldo in the orig­i­nal Josie and the Pussy­cats series, as well as the 1972 H-B shows Josie and the Pussy­cats in Outer Space and The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Waldo is still alive at 88.

Cathy Dou­glas pro­vided her singing voice in Josie and the Pussy­cats and Josie and the Pussy Cats in Outer Space. Tara Strong voiced her char­ac­ter in the 2004 series Drawn Together.

In a New York Times inter­view shortly after her husband’s death, DeCarlo described 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 sketched her wife in that out­fit, and he gave her first name to the “star” when he went shop­ping to sev­eral syn­di­cates for a pro­posed news­pa­per strip, said Evanier.

Accord­ing to Dan DeCarlo, he cre­ated the char­ac­ter on his own in the late 1950s to be fea­tured in the strip Here’s Josie. “You know, I threw that let­ter away,” he said about a rejec­tion mes­sage from one syn­di­cate. “If I still had that let­ter, there wouldn’t have been any case. I would have been a shoo-in.”

With no syn­di­cate accept­ing his offer, he showed the strip to Richard Gold­wa­ter at the Archie com­pany, where he was already work­ing. Gold­wa­ter accepted the pro­posal, and Here’s Josie — a comic book this time — began in 1963.

In the late 1960s, the pub­lisher asked him to add a theme ele­ment to the comic book, rid­ing on the coat­tails of the very pop­u­lar “The Archies” record­ing group (a spin-off from Archie Comics). That’s how Josie led Josie and the Pussy­cats, a rock group dressed very sim­i­larly to how his wife had been decked out on the fate­ful cruise.

Born Josie Dumont, she was a French cit­i­zen. She met her hus­band in Bel­gium on a blind date shortly after the Bat­tle of the Bulge; he spoke lit­tle French.

We com­mu­ni­cated with draw­ing, ” she said. “He would draw things for me to make me under­stand what he had in mind. He was really so amus­ing. Instead of just using words, he would use car­toons to express him­self. Right away, we knew that we were meant for each other.”

Fol­low­ing her husband’s death, she con­tin­ued pro­mot­ing his name and work, and attended comic book con­ven­tions as long as her health allowed, said Evanier. “She was a lovely lady, and every one of Dan’s many friends and fans loved her just as much as they loved Dan,” he added.

Besides her hus­band, Josie DeCarlo is pre­de­ceased by their twin sons, Dan Jr. and Jim, who worked on their father’s comics as inkers. She is sur­vived by two grandchildren.

Funeral ser­vices will be held Mon­day in Scars­dale, New York. For more infor­ma­tion, e-mail Evanier at me(at)

Josie DeCarlo

Josie DeCarlo


[Via News From Me —, New York, Comic Book Resources —, Greg Beda’s Chaotic Muse —]

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One thought on “Josie and the Pussycats” model Josie DeCarlo dies

  1. Hello, I Jacob from UCT South Africa, i am doing a research on this field for my Master’s project. I would be glad if you would per­mit me to cite this arti­cle in my dissertation.

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