Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen Hillenburg Brief Biography

Stephen Hillenburg
Stephen McDannell Hillenburg (born August 21, 1961) is an American marine biologist, cartoonist, animator, director, producer, writer, and voice actor, who is best known for creating the Nickelodeon animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, Hillenburg grew up in Anaheim, California and attended Humboldt State University, earning a bachelor's degree in marine resource planning and interpretation in 1984. After graduating from college, Hillenburg taught marine biology at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point.

In 1992 he enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) to pursue a career in animation. After graduating from CalArts and changing careers, Hillenburg met Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life, and joined the show as a writer, producer, and storyboard artist. He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants in 1996 after Rocko's Modern Life was cancelled, asking Rocko's colleague Tom Kenny to voice the titular character. SpongeBob SquarePants premiered on May 1, 1999 and has since aired episodes. Hillenburg also directed the film adaptation of the series, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, for which he received an Annie Award nomination in 2005 for Directing in a Feature Production. Once the film was completed, he resigned from the television show as the showrunner, appointing staff writer Paul Tibbitt to the position. He worked on the 2015 sequel as the executive producer and story writer.

Stephen Hillenburg News

• 'SpongeBob SquarePants' creator Stephen Hillenburg diagnosed with ALS
• 'SpongeBob SquarePants' sidekick happy with film

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