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Tuck Tucker, Prolific Animator Whose Work Includes 'SpongeBob' and 'Hey Arnold,' Dies at 59

Tucker 's other credits include stints on "The Simpsons" and "The Fairly OddParents" among many others

Tuck Tucker, a prolific writer, artist, songwriter and animator best known for his long tenure with Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Hey Arnold!" died on Dec. 22 from undisclosed causes. His family announced the news on Facebook.

"It is with a heavy and broken heart that the Tucker family announces the death of Tuck Tucker, father, husband, son, brother, and uncle. We know he was loved by all of those whom he met," the family's statement said. "In lieu of visitations, if you have memories of Tuck you would like to share on his timeline, the family would greatly appreciate reading them. An obituary will be forthcoming, however, please help us inform all who knew him by sharing this post."

Born William Osborne "Tuck" Tucker III and originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, Tucker began his career in the late 1980s, with his early credits including work on "BraveStarr: The Movie" and Disney's "The Little Mermaid."

In the early 1990s, Tucker served in several roles on "The Simpsons," including as a layout and storyboard artist. From 1994 to 1995 he worked as a storyboard artist on Nickelodeon's "Rugrats" and in 1994 as an assistant director. In 1996, he began work on Nickelodeon's "Hey Arnold!" in a variety of roles, including storyboard supervisor and director, and eventually rose to become the show's creative director.

After "Hey Arnold!" ended, Tucker worked on shows like "Family Guy" and "Drawn Together" before moving to "SpongeBob SquarePants" in 2006. He remained with the show until 2014, serving as a writer and storyboard Director and supervising storyboard director, and even writing songs for the show.

Tucker's other credits included "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story," "Hey Arnold!: The Movie," and "The Fairly OddParents" among many other credits. He returned to Virginia in 2005 and began teaching graphic and animation design at Longwood University.