American animator and cartoonist, Stephen Hillenburg was the one who created the Nickelodeon animated TV series SpongeBob Square Pants in 1999. Hillenburg passed away at the age of 57. The news was confirmed by the official twitter handle of Nickelodeon.
The Tweet read, “We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Steve imbued ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ with a unique sense of humour and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere.” The statement from the company added that his 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.
SpongeBob is the all-time biggest hit of Nickelodeon and has aired for about two decades since it started airing on May 1, 1999. The cartoon series had the characters Patrick, SpongeBob, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Sandy Cheeks, Pearl Krabs, Plankton, Larry the Lobster and Mrs. Puff. Hollywood star David Hasselhoff had starred as himself in The SpongeBob Movie and remembered his time with Stephen on sets. Hasselhoff said, “Wow what a unique and fantastic character Steve created! It was my pleasure and honor to be in ‘SpongeBob The Movie’ and to share some great laughs with this gentleman. To this day I am stopped and flattered by people and kids who have seen me in the film.”
Stephen passed away due to Motor neuron disease which is also known as ALS. The animator had revealed about his condition in March 2017. After the news of Hillenburg’s death came out, the fans of SpongeBob poured out tributes on social media. The fans also thanked him for his creation which stirred up laughter and enriched lives for years to come. The death of Stephen came just a few weeks after the passing of another cartoon hero in Marvel creator Stan Lee.
Photo Credits:Fox Now