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Mr. Magoo Creator Dies at 92

Millard Kaufman, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and the co-creator of Mr. Magoo, died in Los Angeles on Saturday at the age of 92, according to a LOS ANGELES TIMES obituary.

According to his son, Frederick Kaufman, Millard Kaufman died two days after his birthday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of heart failure.

Kaufman got into screenwriting after working for newspapers and serving in the Marines during World War II. He penned the screenplay for RAGTIME BEAR, the 1949 animated short directed by John Hubley that introduced Mr. Magoo. Kaufman modeled the near-sighted character on his uncle with Jim Backus as the voice.

Kaufman told NPR in 2007 that his uncle could see fine, but, "He simply interpreted everything that came across his way in his own particular manner, and he could at times be a little bit difficult, but he would only see things the way they existed highly subjectively to him."

Kaufman wrote scripts for UNKNOWN WORLD and ALADDIN AND HIS LAMP before becoming MGM's top script doctor for more than a decade. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for 1953's TAKE THE HIGH GROUND! with Richard Widmark and was nominated again for BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, a 1955 suspense drama starring Spencer Tracy.

Kaufman wrote his first novel, BOWL OF CHERRIES, in 2007 at the age of 90. His second novel, MISADVENTURE, is due out in the fall.

Services for Kaufman will be private. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Lorraine, his daughters Mary Carde and Amy Burk and seven grandchildren.

Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

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