Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob Squarepants, has passed away at 57. The creator of the legendary animated series was not only a specialist in animation but also in marine biology.
The world of Bikini Bottom is deeply sad as their creator Stephen Hillenburg died at 57 years due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In 2017, the creator of SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick Star revealed he was struggling with this disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, compromising voluntary muscle movement. Despite his condition, he said he would continue working in the series.
Nickelodeon tweeted about the sad news and lost for the world of animation. “We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS,” the company said in a statement. “He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship, and the limitless power of imagination.”
Stephen Hillenburg was born in Oklahoma, United States, on August 21, 1961. He studied Natural Resource Planning and Interpretation with an emphasis on marine resources. Later on, he would pursue a degree in experimental animation. He was director and writer of Nickelodeon’s Rocko’s Modern Life until his interest in sea life along with his artistic talent made him create the animated world of Bikini Bottom.
SpongeBob SquarePants first aired on May 1, 1999, it has nearly 250 episodes, and has being dubbed into more than 60 languages. It is one of the longest animated series in the US, and Nickelodeon’s program with the largest audience. Hillenburg was awarded a special Emmy this year “for his contribution and impact made in the animation field and within the broadcast industry” and there will be a third film in 2020 for all the fans of SpongeBob SquarePants.
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