And once again a legend has passed away!
“SpongeBob SquarePants” creator Stephen Hillenburg, who brought the cartoon marine underworld of Bikini Bottom to television, the movies, and the stage, has died at the age of 57, the Nickelodeon television network said on Tuesday.
Hillenburg had said last year that he was suffering from the neurodegenerative disease ALS and he died on previous Monday.
We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS. “He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family,” the Nickelodeon television network said.
He created the hit Nickelodeon series. The first episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” featuring the cheerful yellow sea sponge, who lived in an underwater pineapple, and his friends Mr. Krabs, Larry the Lobster, Patrick, and their Krusty Krab restaurant hangout, aired on U.S. television in May 1999.
The series went on to win multiple awards, produced a series of spin-off books, two Hollywood movies, and a Broadway musical.
“Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere,” the Nickelodeon statement said.
“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.”
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie from 2004 went on to gross more than $140 million worldwide with voiceovers from Scarlett Johansson and Alec Baldwin.
Stephen was nominated for nine Primetime Emmys, the highest award in American television. Even in his early teaching days, he used his artistic talent and love of the ocean to write and illustrate stories to help teach his students, creating colorful characters that would later become the denizens of Bikini Bottom.
From 1993 to 1996, he worked as a director and writer on Nickelodeon’s Rocko’s Modern Life. He also wrote, produced and directed the 2004 movie, and wrote and executive produced the 2015 sequel, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
We will surely be going to miss this legend! Are you?
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