‘Rest in Pineapple’: Fans Mourn Death of Stephen Hillenberg, SpongeBob SquarePants Creator – News18

‘Rest in Pineapple’: Fans Mourn Death of Stephen Hillenberg, SpongeBob SquarePants Creator – News18

In a shock to fans around the world, SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenberg passed away on Monday at the age of 57. He had been diagnosed with ALS last year.

The Oklahoma born Hillenberg was initially a teacher of marine biology and started his animation career in 1987. Though he has won several accolades, he is best remembered for the extremely popular Nickelodeon series SpongeBob SquarePants in which he created the unique and wonderfully quirky universe of Bikini Bottom, replete with a mix of complex, anthropomorphic characters. Be it the optimistic sponge himself, who lives in a pineapple with his snail Gary, or his set of weird friends, or even the goings on at Krusty Krab have entertained generations of viewers.

Hillenberg would especially be remembered for the wry humour and a haunting sense of reality that he brought to his fantastic premise, which made SpongeBob SquarePants loved both by children and adults. Since his death on Monday, tributes have been pouring in from every corner for the acclaimed artist whose cartoon show ended up being so much more than just that.

In a statement following the confirmation of the tragic news, Nickelodeon issued the following statement in memory of the legendary creator who had been battling with the neurodegenerative disease for over a year: “[Hillenburg] was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family,” the network said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday. “Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. 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.”