Larry DiTillio, Co-creator of She-Ra, Has Passed Away From an Illness
Larry DiTillio and J. Michael Straczynski co-created She-Ra: Princess of Power in 1985, which Netflix recently released a reboot of. Straczynski confirmed the news that DiTillio passed on his Facebook page.
He wrote: “About an hour ago, I learned that writer and all around family guy Larry DiTillio had passed away after a long illness. He was a good and kind man, and I wanted to tell you a little about him. I met Larry while working on He-Man at Filmation Studios. Technically five days after I started working there because I’d never worked on a TV show before, and buckled down to try and learn as much as I could as fast as I could, and never had the fortitude to go across the hall and introduce myself because it was clear that Larry was the brains behind much of the He-Man mythos. He was a world builder and a fierce creative force, so I wanted to stake out my territory and earn the courage to talk to him.”
Straczynski went on for several paragraphs about the relationship he shared with DiTillio. While at Filmation Studios, they were fast friends. They took lunches together and bonded over shared interests and taste. He told of their decision to leave Filmation together, even though they dreaded it, over She-Ra‘s ending and the refusal of the studio to credit them properly.
He said that later in life, they parted ways over career moves and DiTillio’s desire to run his own show with more control. It was a bitter parting and they did not speak for nearly 10 years. Eventually, they were civil again but the relationship was never the same. Straczynski expressed his deep sadness for this.
He wrote: “He was a good and kind man, a ridiculously talented writer, a fierce intelligence, a loving father and husband, a fiery Italian, loyal friend and one of the funniest guys I have ever had the privilege to know. And I wish we had spent more time together. And now that’s not possible. And I will regret that forever.”
DiTillio once described his break into the film and TV world as “sheer idiot luck.” He told Marv Wolfman, “After 6 years of film school (4 at NYU, 6 at UCLA Grad) I was stupid enough to go door-to-door on Sunset Boulevard looking for an agent. Most of them threw me out with horrified looks. One was so amused, she agreed to read my scripts. She became my agent; a few months later she got me a deal to write a movie and presto I was in the business. 13 years later I was actually able to make a living at it.”
His best-known work was on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (and the 2002 re-make), She-Ra: Princess of Power, and Babylon 5.