Chris Ledesma, The Simpsons‘ music editor who worked on the show since its inception, has died at the age of 64. His death was announced in a tribute from the show at the end of an episode on Sunday, January 1. The tribute read “In loving memory of Chris Ledesma.” A cause of death has not been shared.
Ledesma worked on every single episode of The Simpsons for 33 years, starting with the series debut in 1989 and ending in May 2022 when he stepped away from the animated classic. In total, he worked on 734 episodes. By the time Ledesma retired from The Simpsons, he had worked on the show for more than half of his life. He commemorated the milestone in 2021.
“Today is a significant milestone for me. I am 23,242 days old I have worked on The Simpsons for 11,621 days Born 1/28/1958 First day on #TheSimpsons 11/22/1989,” he tweeted on September 16, 2021. “Not many can say they have worked at ANY job any more for LITERALLY half their lives. #Grateful #Blessed.”
The Simpsons‘ tribute to Ledesma featured a photo of him animated in the show’s style and sitting on the instantly recognizable family’s living room couch. Seated between a smiling Homer and Marge, Ledesma was drawn holding a conductor’s baton as the Simpsons children sat next to them. Lisa plays her saxophone, Maggie plays a tambourine, and Bart plays a triangle. See the touching photo, below.
Chris Ledesma was a sweet man who loved his job and was really, really good at it. We miss him. @mxedtr @TheSimpsons pic.twitter.com/XqKBjGLcwM
— Carolyn Omine (@CarolynOmine) January 2, 2023
Simpsons writer Carolyn Omine tweeted the image along with her own tribute to her colleague. It reads: “Chris Ledesma was a sweet man who loved his job and was really, really good at it. We miss him.”
Writer/producer Michael Price also tweeted a tribute to the late musician, saying: “Such a giant loss for the Simpsons family. Chris was a wonderful guy, a great musical talent, and a true professional who made every Simpsons episode from Seasons 1-33 better. I’ll miss working with him and sharing the ups and downs of our beloved Angels (him) and Mets (me).”
Such a giant loss for the Simpsons family. Chris was a wonderful guy, a great musical talent, and a true professional who made every Simpsons episode from Seasons 1-33 better. I’ll miss working with him and sharing the ups and downs of our beloved Angels (him) and Mets (me). pic.twitter.com/MCzyzqYXbb
— Michael Price (@mikepriceinla) January 2, 2023
Price also shared details of Ledesma’s last day of work on The Simpsons. “Those scoring sessions were always very special,” he tweeted. “Chris’s last was just this past May for the Season 33 finale — a big session with full orchestra, and he just crushed it. A very sweet and poignant memory.” Price then urged fans of the long-running series to peruse Ledesma’s blog “where he meticulously and entertainingly chronicled his work on the show.”
Ledesma worked on all things Simpsons during his time with the FOX series, including The Simpsons Disney+ specials like The Good, The Bart, and The Loki. Outside of Springfield, Ledesma lent his talents to Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Critic, Bette, the Dark Shadows 1990s reboot, The Tracey Ullman Show, Tremors, and more.
Scroll through more tributes to the late Ledesma below.
.@TheSimpsons A wonderful, hard working, very talented man who will be missed by all he knew. pic.twitter.com/pFR1dMHeQ8
— Al Jean (@AlJean) January 2, 2023
Chris Ledesma was one of the kindest, mega-talented people working on a crew full of kind, mega-talented people. I hadn’t worked with him in a while but his friendliness over twitter these last few years was truly felt. Rest in peace, dear Chris.
— Josh Weinstein (@Joshstrangehill) January 2, 2023
Chris Ledesma’s passion for music and for @TheSimpsons was an inspiration. I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with him this year. He was a great mentor and a genuine person. My heart goes out to his family.
Rest In Peace Chris 💛 pic.twitter.com/2KRPAlAQ6U
— Jake Schaefer (@jschaefermusic) January 2, 2023
A truly wonderful man whose love of music was infectious. He actually made me feel like I could carry a tune. Not an easy feat.
— Chris Edgerly 🇺🇦 (@chrisedgerly) January 2, 2023
Thank you, Chris Ledesma. #TheSimpsons pic.twitter.com/sg5y7rrEIP
— Nicky J. O’Hagan (@hagan_nicky) January 2, 2023
We will all miss Chris Ledesma so very much. A terrific and wonderful guy who was terrific and wonderful at his job. A solid musician and music editor. Great conductor too. A real loss for all… @mxedtr @TheSimpsons pic.twitter.com/rWbpQyrDua
— David Silverman 🇺🇦 (@tubatron) January 3, 2023
Chris Ledesma was a sweet, goofy guy with a giant heart — his amazing musical life is played out over 33 years of @TheSimpsons
— Matt Selman (@mattselman) January 3, 2023