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

It’s a unhappy working day for supporters of SpongeBob Squarepants admirers. Stephen Hillenburg, best acknowledged as the creator of the hit Nickelodeon sequence, died from ALS Monday (Nov. 26) at the age of 57. Nickelodeon confirmed the unfortunate information of Hillenburg’s passing in a tweet.

“We are unhappy to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants,” Nickelodeon wrote. “Today, we are observing a minute of silence to honor his existence and work.”

Hillenburg unveiled he experienced been identified with the neurodegenerative illness regarded as “ALS” (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) last yr.

“I desired individuals to listen to instantly from me that I have been identified with ALS,” he claimed at the time. “Anyone who knows me is aware of that I will continue to perform on SpongeBob SquarePants and my other passions for as extended as I am able. My family and I are grateful for the outpouring of appreciate and assistance.”

Hillenburg, who has published and directed for other Nickelodeon exhibits, taught marine biology at the Orange County Maritime Institute before coming up with the plan for Spongebob in the late 1990s. The show’s very first episode aired in 1999.

“Obviously, SpongeBob is a comedy, but it genuinely was inspired by me liking marine science,” he said during a 2015 interview about how he arrived up with the hit demonstrate. “I targeted on that, and I in no way imagined the two would arrive with each other.”

Hillenburg attained 9 Emmy nominations for the demonstrate and even gained a distinctive Emmy Award before this yr for his animation work.

While most men and women know Hillenburg as the creator of SpongeBob, he basically got his get started in animation by directing a different popular Nick exhibit, Rocko’s Modern Daily life, and he also wrote and directed for Rugrats.

“Let’s not ignore, Stephen Hillenburg received his start out on Rocko’s Fashionable daily life as a director, producer, author, and storyboarder,” one fan wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “So we have him to thank for the production of this staple of 90s Nickelodeon as effectively.”

Director Jorge R. Gutierrez wrote: “A big of cartoons has left us. A kind, outstanding and hilarious genius who will for good be remembered for his creations. Animation was changed for the better many thanks to him. And millions of young children grew up with a character that championed innocence. Gracias for anything, Steve.”

“This year has just definitely shattered my coronary heart. Shed two innovative, imaginative individuals in each Stan Lee and Stephen Hillenburg, who the two shaped so substantially of my possess childhood and my childhood question,” a further admirer of Hillenburg’s perform wrote.

In addition to the Television set collection, Hillenburg wrote the two strike “SpongeBob” aspect movies. The initially a person, introduced in 2004, grossed extra than $140 million at the box office. The 2015 sequel grossed around $325 million.

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