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Alex Johns (August 23, 1966 – August 7, 2010) was an American film and television producer. Johns is best known for his work as the co-executive producer of more than seventy episodes of the animated television series Futurama.[1] He also the co-executive producer of the 2006 film, The Ant Bully.[1][2]

Johns was born in Roseville, California, on August 23, 1966.[1][2] He was the grandson of actor Steve Cochran (1917-1966).[1] Johns graduated from Escalon High School in Escalon, California, in 1984.[2] He attended both San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego.[1]

He began his career in the film industry by colorizing classic black-and-white movies in the late 1980s.[2] Johns was successful in this work despite the fact that he was colorblind, which he kept a professional secret.[1] He began working in television in the 1990s on the series, The Ren & Stimpy Show.[1]

Matt Groening, the creator of Futurama, hired Johns to work on the show. Johns would eventually co-executive produce more than seventy episodes of Futurama during his career.[1][2] Groening also gave Johns a prominent production role in the 1999 Christmas television special, Olive, the Other Reindeer, which starred Drew Barrymore and Ed Asner.[1]

Film director John A. Davis hired Johns to co-executive produce the 2006 computer-animated film, The Ant Bully. In a professional twist, Johns had actually fired Davis from the production staff of Olive, the Other Reindeer in the late 1990s due to tactical and budgetery reasons.[1] Davis spoke of the unusual situation in an interview in 2010 explaining, "Alex was in the uncomfortable position of telling me I was being replaced, but to hear his spin, it sounded like I was getting a promotion! He was awesome...He did such a great job firing me, I had to hire him! (for The Ant Bully)."[1] The film went on to gross more than $28 million at the U.S. domestic box office.[2]

Alex Johns died on August 7, 2010, of a long illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 45.[1] He was survived by his mother, Xandria Walker, and four brothers - David Cimino, Michael Johns, Christopher Johns and Daniel Johns.[2] He was predeceased by his father, Wendell Johns.[2]

The 100th episode of Futurama, The Mutants Are Revolting, was dedicated to the memory of Alex Johns.[3] The episode aired on September 2, 2010,

References

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