“SpongeBob Squarepants” Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dies of ALS at 57 Years Old

“SpongeBob Squarepants” Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dies of ALS at 57 Years Old

It’s a tragic day for followers of SpongeBob Squarepants followers. Stephen Hillenburg, finest referred to as the creator of the hit Nickelodeon sequence, died from ALS Monday (Nov. 26) at the age of 57. Nickelodeon confirmed the unhappy information of Hillenburg’s passing in a tweet.

“We’re unhappy to share the information of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants,” Nickelodeon wrote. “Immediately, we’re observing a second of silence to honor his life and work.”

Hillenburg revealed he had been identified with the neurodegenerative illness referred to as “ALS” (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) final 12 months.

“I wished folks to listen to immediately from me that I’ve been identified with ALS,” he mentioned at the time. “Anybody who is aware of me is aware of that I’ll proceed to work on SpongeBob SquarePants and my different passions for so long as I’m ready. My household and I are grateful for the outpouring of love and assist.”

Hillenburg, who has written and directed for different Nickelodeon reveals, taught marine biology at the Orange County Marine Institute earlier than developing with the thought for Spongebob within the late 1990s. The present’s first episode aired in 1999.

“Clearly, SpongeBob is a comedy, however it actually was impressed by me liking marine science,” he mentioned throughout a 2015 interview about how he got here up with the hit present. “I targeted on that, and I by no means thought the 2 would come collectively.”

Hillenburg earned 9 Emmy nominations for the present and even received a particular Emmy Award earlier this 12 months for his animation work.

Although most individuals know Hillenburg because the creator of SpongeBob, he really obtained his begin in animation by directing one other well-liked Nick present, Rocko’s Trendy Life, and he additionally wrote and directed for Rugrats.

“Let’s not overlook, Stephen Hillenburg obtained his begin on Rocko’s Trendy life as a director, producer, author, and storyboarder,” one fan wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “So we have now him to thank for the manufacturing of this staple of 90s Nickelodeon as effectively.”

Director Jorge R. Gutierrez wrote: “A large of cartoons has left us. A sort, sensible and hilarious genius who will endlessly be remembered for his creations. Animation was modified for the higher due to him. And tens of millions of youngsters grew up with a personality that championed innocence. Gracias for all the pieces, Steve.”

“This 12 months has simply completely shattered my coronary heart. Misplaced two artistic, imaginative people in each Stan Lee and Stephen Hillenburg, who each formed a lot of my very own childhood and my childhood surprise,” one other fan of Hillenburg’s work wrote.

Along with the TV sequence, Hillenburg wrote each hit “SpongeBob” characteristic movies. The primary one, launched in 2004, grossed greater than $140 million at the field workplace. The 2015 sequel grossed over $325 million.

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