The creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, Stephen Hillenburg, has died aged 57. Nickelodeon announced the death of the cartoonist and animator on Tuesday, saying: “We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family.” The animator’s death was caused by ALS – he was diagnosed with it last year.
SpongeBob SquarePants first aired in May 1999, showing a dish sponge working at a local burger joint run by a crab, living in the city of Bikini Bottom. There are now nearly 250 episodes of SpongeBob, attracting children and adults alike. As well as the series, Hillenburg wrote, produced and directed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
Click on the link below to watch some of the best moments from the series: