We’re so sad to share the news we lost another cartoon hero, creator and director Stephen Hillenburg of the very popular show on Nickelodeon “SpongeBob SquarePants” has lost his battle with ALS on Monday, according to Variety. His death comes just weeks after the passing of another cartoon iconic hero, Marvel creator Stan Lee.
Stephen Hillenburg served as a director for Nickelodeon since the early ’90s behind “Rocko’s Modern Life” from 1993 to 1996. “SpongeBob SquarePants” later premiered on Nickelodeon in 1999. The cartoon show quickly became a favorite on the network and later turned into two mega movies “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” in 2004 and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” in 2015. Soon after the success of the movies, SpongeBob went on to be a Tony-winning “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical.”
Nickelodeon said in a statement, according to Variety:
“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.”
Later Nickelodeon tweeted the news on social media:
💛 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
RIP Stephen Hillenburg, your legacy will truly live on forever.