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Sam Simon, a co-creator of the long-running hit animated series 'The Simpsons,' has died after a battle with colon cancer at the age of 59, his agent said.
Simon won nine Emmy awards for his work as a writer, director and executive producer of 'The Simpsons'.
Ricky Gervais, who like many celebrities has appeared on the popular cartoon, tweeted a tribute.
RIP Sam Simon. Heroic humanitarian & genius co-creator of The Simpsons. D'oh, indeed.
Simon was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2011 and channelled much of his personal fortune into social causes including animal welfare.
After stints writing for Taxi, Cheers and The Tracey Ullman Show, Simon helped launch The Simpsons in 1989.
He left the series after its fourth season under a deal that rewarded him with ongoing royalties from the show, which remains in production.
He established the Sam Simon Foundation, which rescues dogs from animal shelters and trains them to assist the disabled and also funded a Los Angeles food bank.
The Simpsons have paid tribute to US talk show host David Letterman, who announced he will retire from his programme next year.
The one minute clip shows Homer and his family overcoming a security guard and traffic jam as they make their way to the 'Late Show with David Letterman'.
The sequence then ends with Letterman's longtime bandleader Paul Shaffer conducting a version of The Simpsons theme tune.
Letterman, 66, who began hosting the show in 1993, said he will step down in 2015 which led to tributes from celebrities and US President Barack Obama.
The Simpsons will pay tribute to Marcia Wallace, the actress who famously voiced teacher Edna Krabappel in the show, with a special farewell scribble on the school's blackboard - by Bart.
In the opening sequence of Sunday night's episode, Bart writes: ‘‘We’ll really miss you Mrs. K".
The 70-year-old actress died last month and played the Springfield Elementary School character for over 20 years.
The show's executive producer, Al Jean, said plans are in place to retire Wallace's "irreplaceable" Ms Krabappel personality.
In a statement on the death of Marcia Wallace, executive producer Al Jean, said on behalf of The Simpsons:
I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace. She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.
Earlier we had discussed a potential storyline in which a character passed away. This was not Marcia's Edna Krabappel.
Marcia's passing is unrelated and again, a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
The statement was posted on Facebook.