ANIMATION legend Janice Burgess has died at the age of 72.

Tributes have poured in for the screenwriter, best known for creating the cartoon show The Backyardigans.

Animation star Janice Burgess has died

Animation star Janice Burgess has diedCredit: Getty
She was best known for creating The Backyardigans

She was best known for creating The BackyardigansCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Fracaswell Hyman, also a writer, hailed Burgess for her acid-tongued wit.

“I met Janice Burgess early in my career when I was head writer on Gullah Gullah Island and she was assigned to be our Executive in Charge of Production,” she posted on Instagram.

“This is the person the network sends to the set to make sure the money is not going to waste.

“Janice swept in with her acid-tongued wit, flowing Hermes scarves and omnipresent cigarettes.

“Instead of an overseer, she became a friend. She recognized my magic before I did and made sure I was in the room and under consideration for many of the shows that came my way including Little Bill and Taina.”

Hyman said Burgess’ story critiques were astute, clear, and constructive.

She said she will miss her dear friend.

Burgess’ cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Her death came just days after she turned 72.

Burgess, from Pennsylvania, joined Nickelodeon in 1995 as executive-in-charge of production and was also a story editor on the 2004 adventure show Winx Club.

She said her inspiration for the Backyardigans can be traced to her backyard when she was growing up, per Nickelodeon.

She joked that she and her pals would play hide and seek and imagine they were staving off wild animals.

Fans rushed to pay tribute to Burgess.

“She created the Backyardigans? It was my childhood. I loved her so much,” one viewer said.

“The Backyardigans was – and still is – one of my most remarkable memories from my childhood… this is a huge loss,” another mourner posted.

“She had a huge impact in [sic] my life.”

“No words to describe, but thank you Janice for being a creator of The Backyardigans and Gullah Gullah Island, and for being part of our childhood, because we’re all gonna miss you so much! Fly high!” a third fan said.

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