Ricky Gervais has led tributes to the late 'Simpsons' co-creator Sam Simon.

Sam, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012, passed away aged 59 on Sunday (08.03.15) at his home in Los Angeles.

Writing on Twitter, 'The Office' star said: ''RIP Sam Simon. Heroic humanitarian & genius co-creator of The Simpsons. D'oh, indeed. (sic)''

Sam created the show alongside James L. Brooks and Matt Groening in 1989 and stayed at the helm for four years, writing episodes as well as doing other creative roles including showrunner.

Seth Macfarlane, the creator of animated comedy 'Family Guy', also paid tribute to Sam.

He wrote: ''Had the mind of Sam Simon not paved the way for all of us in prime time animation, I wouldn't have a job. He will be sorely missed.''

Whilst Boy George wrote simply: ''R.I.P Sam Simon!''

Television personality Conan O'Brien praised the ''gifted & genuinely good guy'', writing on Twitter: ''Sam Simon's contribution to the spirit of sharp, well-observed comedy is incalculable. Awful to lose such a gifted & genuinely good guy.''

Sam's colleagues also paid tribute to his ''phenomenal talents''.

Matt Groening said: ''(His) phenomenal talents, sharp intelligence and sly sense of humour (will be missed). He is gone from our industry too soon. (sic)''

Whilst the show's executive producer Al Jean said: ''He was a genius and a great humanitarian in ways public and private.

''I personally owe him more than can be repaid, but I will do my best to help every animal I can in his memory.''

Sam was an eager animal rights activist and philanthropist and publicly announced he would be leaving his estimated $100 million fortune to charity in November last year.

The award-winning writer, producer and director confirmed he would be donating his millions to Save The Children, PETA and his own foundation, which helps to feed hundreds of hungry families in Los Angeles every day.