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If you were looking for the article about the storyboard artist, then see Stephen Herczeg.
Person

Stephen McDannell Hillenburg[1] (born August 21, 1961; age 56) is a former American marine biologist, animator, and the main creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, who left production shortly after the first movie was completed, and returned upon creation of the second.

Other than behind-the-scenes work, he was the early voice of Potty the Parrot and also played the ukulele for some of the show's original music, including the "Best Day Ever" special.

It was announced he was diagnosed with ALS on March 13, 2017.[2]

Lawsuit

In 2007, Troy Walker, a cartoonist from Fairfield, California, sued Hillenburg, claiming that he stole his ideas from Walker's 1991 comic strip, Bob Spongee, the Unemployed Sponge. Walker argued that the concept and design of Hillenburg's SpongeBob SquarePants was lifted from his "Bob Spongee" homemade toy character. In his original concept, Walker drew a face on a kitchen sponge and attached plastic googly eyes. He placed the model in a transparent bag that included the comic strip, and sold it in Northern California as collectibles at flea markets and through the mail in 1992. Walker claimed that he produced 1,000 of the "drawn-on" dolls.

In 2002, after learning about SpongeBob SquarePants, Walker concluded: "It obviously fell into the hands of one of the producers of the show. It's a clear pattern of duplication." He filed the lawsuit against Hillenburg, Paramount Studios, and Nickelodeon and their parent company, Viacom, in a United States district court in San Francisco. He had demanded $1.6 billion in damages, and alleged that the accused used his idea without his permission [3] .[4] He said that "they took all of it." Walker also pointed out that the show's pilot episode "Help Wanted" (in which an unemployed SpongeBob gets his job at the Krusty Krab) was proof that the defendants stole his concept. The settlement was later dropped after a summary judgement in Viacom's favor.

Trivia

  • On May 25, 2012, Hillenburg announced that he would be writing The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
  • Sometimes, he is referred to as "Steven or Steve Hillenburg."
  • After The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie came out, Hillenburg left the show, because after the first movie was when the show was originally supposed to end. However, Hillenburg didn't leave the show entirely; he still serves as an executive producer.[5]
  • According to Paul Tibbitt's Twitter feed, Hillenburg came back to work on the series in January 2015. This was proven true as he produced some episodes from Season 9.
    • He served as executive producer of the show from 2015 onward, after being absent from the position for 10 years and 2 months.
  • In "Help Wanted," Stephen Hillenburg's name was misspelt as "Stephen Hilleburg," missing the "N" in his surname.
  • According to Vincent Waller, he is about 5'8 feet tall.[6]
  • According to some commentary left by Stephen on the "Christmas Who?" DVD, he filmed the introductory island at a pool in his friend's house.
  • He named Karen Plankton after his wife, Karen Hillenburg.
  • He is against revealing the identity of Mrs. Krabs and has kept it a secret throughout the series.

Video

SpongeBob SquarePants Meet the Creator Stephen Hillenburg Nickelodeon Animation Studio01:54

SpongeBob SquarePants Meet the Creator Stephen Hillenburg Nickelodeon Animation Studio

References

External links

Wikipedia may have more biographical information on this person. Please see Wikipedia's article here.

Cast and Crew (VTE)

Cast
Bill FagerbakkeCarolyn LawrenceClancy BrownDee Bradley BakerDoug LawrenceDennis QuaidFrank WelkerJill TalleyJoe WhyteLori AlanMary Jo CatlettRodger BumpassSirena IrwinTom KennyMark FiteGuest stars

Crew
Aaron SpringerAdam FayAdam PaloianAlan SmartAndrea RomanoAndrew GoodmanAndrew OvertoomBlake LemonsBob CampBob JaquesBrad VandergriftBrian MoranteBrice MallierBruce HellerCaleb MeurerCarson KuglerCasey AlexanderCatherine SimmondsC.H. GreenblattCharlie BeanChris AllisonChris HeadrickChris MitchellChris ReccardiChuck KleinClare O'KaneClint Bond Jr.Dave CunninghamDavid FainDani MichaeliDan PovenmireDaniel DominguezDerek DrymonDerek IversenDerek L'estrangeDoug LawrenceEban SchletterEdgar LarrazábalEduardo AcostaEnnio Torresan, Jr.Eric FilipkowskiEric ShawErik WieseFrank WeissFred MillerFred OsmondGarrett HoGreg MillerGregor F. NarholzHeather MartinezHowie PerryIan GrahamIIya SkorupskyJack PendarvisJanice TolentinoJay LenderJennie MonicaJim SchumannJoe LissJoe WierengaJohn MagnessJohn TrabbicJosh AndroskyKaren HeathwoodKazKelly ArmstrongKent OsborneKris WimberlyKurt SnyderKyle McCullochLarry LeFrancisLarry LeichliterLeonard RobinsonLloyd AhlquistLuke BrookshierLynne NaylorMarc CeccarelliMarcelo SouzaMarco CinelloMark CaballeroMark O'HareMaureen MascarinaMerriwether WilliamsMike BellMike FasoloMike MitchellMike RothMonica DavilaMonica TomovaNate CashNick CrossNick JenningsOctavio RodriguezPaul TibbittPeter BennettPeter BurnsPeter ShukoffPhilip HarrisRichard PurselRobertryan CoryRob RosenRobert DressRyan KramerSam HendersonSolomon GeorgioSeamus WalshSaeid ZameniateniSean CharmatzSean DempseySherm CohenShellie O'BrienStephen HerczegStephen HillenburgSteve FontiSteven BanksSyd DaleThaddeus Paul CouldronTim HillTim ParsonsTeale Reon WangTed SekoTodd WhiteTom KingTom YasumiTuck TuckerVincent WallerVirginia HawesWalt DohrnWilliam ReissZeus Cervas

Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (VE)

Emmy Awards Cup Emmy


Daytime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program

Directors: Andrew Overtoom, Andrea Romano, Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi (2010)Casey Alexander, Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash, Zeus Cervas, Sean Charmatz, Andrew Overtoom, Andrea Romano, Alan Smart, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, Vincent Waller and Tom Yasumi (2012)

Outstanding Special Class Animated Program

Animators: Dina Buteyn, Stephen Hillenburg and Paul Tibbitt (2010)

Outstanding Children's Animated Program

Nominees: Stephen Hillenburg, Jennie Monica Hammond and Paul Tibbitt (2012)

Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program

Voice actors: Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles (2012)

Outstanding Sound Editing – Animation

Nominees: Todd Brodie, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Chris Gresham, Matt Hall, Jeffrey Hutchins, James Lifton, Paulette Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Aran Tanchum and Kimberlee Vanek (2012) • Mishelle Fordham, Vincent Guisetti, Jeffrey Hutchins, James Lifton, Paulette Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Wes Otis, Monique Reymond and Aran Tanchum (2013) • Devon Bowman, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Jeff Hutchins, Aran Tanchum and Vincent Guisetti (2014)


Golden Reel Awards StatueStraight

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Music

Nominees: Stephen Hillenburg, Donna Castricone, Nicholas R. Jennings, Alan Smart, Peter Burns, Doug Lawrence, Derek Drymon, Alex Gordon, Donna Grillo, Jennie Monica, Krandal Crews, Jim Leber, Justin Brinsfield, Tony Ostyn, Nicolas Carr (for "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy"/"Pickles;" 2000)Nicolas Carr (for "Fools in April"/"Neptune's Spatula" in 2001; for "Jellyfish Hunter"/"The Fry Cook Games" in 2002; for "Wet Painters"/"Krusty Krab Training Video" in 2003; for "The Great Snail Race"/"Mid-Life Crustacean" in 2004) • Jimmy Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn and Paulette Lifton (for "Mid-Life Crustacean;" 2004)

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Sound

Nominees: Nicolas Carr (for "Karate Choppers;" 2000) • Andrea Anderson, Jimmy Lifton, Monette Holderer, D.J. Lynch, Vincent Gutisetti, Jeff Hutchins and Gabriel Rosas (for "Rock Bottom"/"Arrgh!;" 2001)

Best Sound Editing in Television – Animation

Nominees: Timothy J. Borquez, Jeff Hutchins and Daisuke Sawa (for "The Secret Box"/"Band Geeks;" 2002)

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation

Nominees: Jimmy Lifton, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn and Chris Gresham (for "Nasty Patty"/"Idiot Box;" 2012)

Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated

Nominees: Jimmy Lifton, Nicolas Carr, D.J. Lynch, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn, Chris Gresham and Paulette Lifton (for "Pranks a Lot"/"SpongeBob Meets the Strangler;" 2005) • Vincent Gutisetti, Jimmy Lifton, Nicolas Carr, Monique Reymond, D.J. Lynch, Mark Howlett, Jeff Hutchins, Aran Tanchum, Mishelle Smith and Paulette Lifton (for "Have You Seen This Snail?;" 2006)Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeHenge;" 2008)

Best Sound Editing: Television Animation

Nominees: : Chiho Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Daisuke Sawa, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Dan Cubert, Lawrence Reyes, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "Suction Cup Symphony;" 2009) • Chino Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Eric Freeman, Tom Syslo, Keith Dickens, Jason Stiff, Sergio Silva, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One;" 2010)

Best Sound Editing – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television

Nominees: Devon Bowman, Justin Brinsfield, Nicolas Carr, Andrea Anderson, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Eric Freeman, Tony Orozco and Danny Tchibinda (for "Gary's New Toy;" 2013) • Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Bobby Crew, Keith Dickens, Gabriel Rossas and Tony Orozco (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!;" 2013)


Miscellaneous

British Academy Children's Awards Logo master

International Category

Recipients: Stephen Hillenburg and Alan Smart (2007)Paul Tibbitt, Casey Alexander and Zeus Cervas (2012)Marc Ceccarelli, Luke Brookshier and Vincent Waller (2014)


Annecy International Animated Film FestivalAnnecy International Animated Film Festival logo.svg

Special Award

Episodes: Fear of a Krabby Patty (2005)

Special Award for a TV Series

Episodes: It's a SpongeBob Christmas! (2013)


Artios Awards

Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Animation TV Programming

Nominees: Sarah Noonan (2010)

Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Animation

Nominees: Sarah Noonan (2011; 2013)


ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Film tv invite 2a

Top Television Series

Nominees: Steven Belfer, Nicolas Carr, Derek Drymon, Mark Harrison, Stephen Hillenburg, Pat Irwin, Stephen Marston, Blaise Smith, Barry Trop and Ron Wasserman (2011-2013)


BMI Film & TV Awards Logo bmi

BMI Cable Award

Nominees: Michael Bolger, Sage Guyton, Eban Schletter and Jeremy Wakefield (2013)


Satellite Awards 79d5dec3b358448c8a5c20fbd09816b5

Best Youth DVD

DVDs: The Complete 2nd Season (2005)

Start a Discussion Discussions about Stephen Hillenburg

  • Happy Birthday Stephen Hillenburg!

    19 messages
    • There was a solar eclipse on his B-Day
    • Happy Birthday Stephen Hillenburg!!!
  • Stephen Hillenburg has ALS...

    70 messages
    • https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/865004925356343296 Vincent uploaded a photo involving Steve, and it looks like he's doing fine...
    • Madiyunu wrote:https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/865004925356343296 Vincent uploaded a photo involving Steve, and it looks like he...

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