Princess Grace Statue Award, 2002

Princess Grace Award
Graduate Film Scholarship, 1991
California Institute of the Arts



Stephen Hillenburg is a marine biologist, cartoonist, animator, director, producer, writer, and voice actor, who is best known for creating Nickelodeon’s most beloved and iconicanimated television series, “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Stephen grew up in Anaheim, California and attended Humboldt State University, where he graduated with a degree in marine resource planning and interpretation in 1984. After college, Stephen taught Marine Biology and then enrolled at CalArts to pursue a career in animation. He began developing the character SpongeBob in 1996 and the show has since won two Emmy Awards, six Annie Awards and has developed into two movies:“The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water”. Stephen also owns a production company called United Plankton Pictures, whose primary productions are“SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Stephen passed away on November 26, 2018 at the age of 57.