It's been a sad week in Hollywood. 

After a battle with ALS "SpongeBob Squarepants" creator, Stephan HIllenburg, has died at age 57. Nickelodeon said in a statement, "We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS. He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. 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."

According to Variety, Stephan began his animation career in 1987 with his most popular creation, "SpongeBob Squarepants", airing 250 episodes to date. Other notable works are "Rocko's Modern Life" and "Wormholes." He is survived by his wife of 20 years Karen Hillenburg, son Clay, mother Nancy Hillenburg (nee Dufour) and brother Brian Kelly Hillenburg, his wife Isabel, and nieces Emma and Hazel.

"The SpongeBob SquarePants" Preview At Tokyo International Anime Fair
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