Tuck Tucker, an animator and storyboard director best known for his work on “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Hey Arnold!” has died aged 59.
Variety reports that a statement was shared by his family on Facebook, revealing that he died on 22 December. No cause of death was given.
“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,” his family said.
Born William Osborne Tucker III on 20 August 1961, Tucker got his first job as a breakdown artist on 1987’s Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night.
Among his other early credits were The Little Mermaid in 1989, the TV series Rugrats, and several episodes of The Simpsons in 1996.
Between 1996 and 1999, he served as the storyboard director for 25 episodes of Hey Arnold!, going on to direct the show’s film version in 2002, and working on more episodes between 1999 and 2004.
He worked on dozens of episodes of the hit series SpongeBob SquarePants, and also served as a storyboard artist on SpongeBob SquarePants The Movie in 2004.
Most recently, he worked on the upcoming “Bob’s Burgers” film, which is currently in production.
Hey Arnold! creator Craig Bartlett was among those who paid tribute to Tucker, writing on Instagram: “A great friend, a master draftsman, a tireless practical joker, a brilliant storyteller, the first one I reached out to when I began Hey Arnold! because he was the best board guy I had ever met.