It is surely a sad news for all the SpongeBob Squarepants fans out there. Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the iconic cartoon character passed away at the age of 57, after a long battle with ATS.
💛 We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Today, we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work. 💛
— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) November 27, 2018
No words. Steve Hillenburg was a friend and immensely talented creator. We grew up together at Nickelodeon. Prayers for his family and legions of fans. You will be sorely missed, Steve. pic.twitter.com/iwaAggGb31
— Butch Hartman (@realhartman) November 27, 2018
Sending love to the family and friends of Stephen Hillenburg. Love you, Spongebob.
— Chris Tallman (@MrChrisTallman) November 27, 2018
Hillenburg earlier worked as a marine biologist, which might have given him some inspiration later for creating SpongeBob SquarePants for Nickelodeon. He then went on to contribute to the show Rocko’s Modern Life, which became one of the most popular cartoons in television history.
My first writing job was for Spongebob. Stephen Hillenburg is a legend and I was so fortunate to get to learn from such a creative genius. He was beyond humble and sweet. I’m forever grateful. RIP. pic.twitter.com/7Gt5Loh1Gn
— Solomon Georgio (@solomongeorgio) November 27, 2018
During my brief stint as a writer on Spongebob I had the chance to work with Stephen Hillenburg in the writers room a few times. He was very kind and shy, but always managed to ask how me and my fellow young writers were…
— clare o'kane (@babysfirstgun) November 27, 2018
It was in 2017 that Hillenburg revealed his ALS diagnosis- a rare neurological disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, causing muscle weakness, discomfort, and loss of motor control.
I first discovered SPONGEBOB through my sons, who were loudly singing along with the dopey & memorable theme song downstairs. I came down to see what the ruckus was about and ended up watching my first episode. Many laughs.
Many thanks, Steve Hillenburg. May you Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/3VNsxYJVXq
— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) November 27, 2018
Sponge Bob has brought my little one Cricket so much joy and given her the weirdest & wildest sense of humor. Thank you Mr. Hillenburg and rest in peace. 💔 https://t.co/4vODpCC4ya
— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) November 27, 2018
RIP Stephen Hillenburg who brought tremendous joy and wonderful insanity into this world. SpongeBob SquarePants is one of my favorite things to ever exist and I wish I could have been friends with Steve. #Stephenhillenburg pic.twitter.com/qjEZzOwMDO
— Jorma Taccone (@jormataccone) November 27, 2018
Hillenburg also directed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in 2004, which was intended as a finale for the show. However, after leaving the show for many years he returned back in 2014.
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, Shocking Loss! To this day I am stopped and flattered by people and kids who have seen me in the film.#SpongeBob pic.twitter.com/gNF1CkJk69
— David Hasselhoff (@DavidHasselhoff) November 27, 2018
Farewell Stephen! We will miss you…