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- Posted on Mar 16th 2012 11:40AM by Jason MacNeil
Born Josie Dumont, the wife of comic book illustrator Dan DeCarlo became the idea behind the character during a vacation. "We went on a Caribbean cruise, and I had a costume for the cruise, that's the way it started," she told the New York Times following her husband's death in 2001. "The hairdo came after. One day, I came in with a new hairdo with a little bow in my hair and he said, 'That's it!'"
Originally set to be featured in the comic strip 'Here's Josie,' DeCarlo received no syndication offers. In 1963, Richard Goldwater, president and publisher of Archie Comics, accepted the strip, later asking DeCarlo to add "a theme element" to the comic book. That led to the rock group -- using the popularity of the band the Archies at the time -- styled in the same manner as his wife dressed on their Caribbean cruise.
'Josie and the Pussycats' debuted in 1970 and ran 16 episodes before a spin-off series 'Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space' started in 1972 for an additional 16 episodes. In conjunction with the series, a self-titled studio album was released in 1970 featuring three singers including Cherie Moor, who would later be better known as Cheryl Ladd. The album was digitally remastered and reissued in 2001 as 'Josie and the Pussycats: Stop Look and Listen: The Capitol Recordings.'
In 2001, a film entitled 'Josie and the Pussycats' was released starring Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson and Rachael Leigh Cook. According to Comic Book Resources, the film caused a public falling out in 2000 between Archie and Dan DeCarlo regarding the rights to the Josie character.
Funeral services are reportedly being set for Monday in Scarsdale, New York.
Watch Josie & the Pussycats 'Theme Song' Video