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Josie DeCarlo, who inspired 'Josie' of 'The Pussycats,' dies

Date March 19, 2012
By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Josie DeCarlo, the woman who inspired perky Josie McCoy of the cartoon rock band The Pussycats, has died, according to comic blog Big Cartoon News, which cites comic historian Mark Evanier.

Cause of death and age were not listed, but her husband, "Josie" cartoonist Dan DeCarlo, was 82 when he died in 2001.

The blog quotes a New York Times interview in which Josie DeCarlo explained that a cat costume she wore on a Caribbean cruise helped inspired the character.

"The hairdo came after,” Josie DeCarlo told the newspaper. “One day, I came in with a new hairdo with a lit­tle bow in my hair, and he said, ‘That’s it!’”

The blog says that Josie DeCarlo was born in France and met her husband shortly after the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

Josie and The Pussycats were featured in comic books and a live-action 2001 film, but are perhaps best remembered for the 1970s TV series, which even spawned a girl group and an album.

Big Cartoon News also notes that the actress who provided Josie's speaking voice on the cartoon, Janet Waldo, is still alive at 88. Waldo also voiced Judy Jetson and Penelope Pitstop.

Read more about Josie & The Pussycats
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