X-Men: The Animated Series' David Hemblen Dead at 79

David Hemblen, an actor well known for his role as Magneto on X-Men: The Animated Series, has passed away. He was 79. According to an obituary for the actor in Saturday's New York Times, the actor passed away earlier this month on November 16th. The news was later confirmed by the Twitter account run by Julia and Eric Lewald, the writers behind the fan-favorite animated series.

"This horrible, heart-breaking year continues," the account shared late Sunday night.

Hemblen was born in England on September 16, 1941, where he lived for 15 years before immigrating to Toronto. That's where he went to high school and college, eventually going to school for a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies before dropping out to pursue acting. Some of the actor's earliest work came in 1967 as he acted in the first season of Theatre Toronto.

The actor earned over 70 credits either as an actor or director at various Canadian theaters when TV came calling. Hemblen's biggest live-action role came on Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict, a series developed by Roddenberry's widow Majel using notes the late writer left behind.

Hemblen went on to lend his voice to several productions, in addition to X-Men: The Animated Series. Those shows included Yin Yang Yo!, Tales from the Cryptkeeper, and Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. He'd previously been in the news earlier this month after the Lewald's revealed Marvel insisted Magneto be the first major villain of The Animated Series.

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"There hadn't been any Marvel movies at the time, and we were told 80 to 90 percent of our audience wouldn't know who X-Men were or what a mutant was because only a couple million people knew the comic book. We needed eight or nine million people to have a good show," Eric Lewald told Polygon. "So the task of the pilot was, besides telling an exciting story, to introduce the strange new world with a dozen characters, all of them are important. You have to get to know them, and you have to deal with what you're seeing. So, yeah, that was really hard."

He's survived his daughter Kate, her husband Glyn, and two grandchildren, Anna Thomas and Celyn Thomas.