Veteran animator Tuck Tucker, who worked on popular series such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Hey Arnold!, died on December 22. He Was 59.
Tucker’s family posted the news of Tucker’s passing 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,” wrote Bailey Tucker on Facebook. “We know he was loved by all of those whom he met. 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.”
Tucker was born William Osborne Tucker III on August 20, 1961. He worked on the 1987 film Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night before boarding on some of the most iconic titles in animation including the 1989 Diseny feature The Little Mermaid.
In the TV space, he worked on Nickelodeon’s Rugrats as well as The Simpsons. Tucker was a storyboard director for Hey Arnold! between 1996 and 1999 and also directed the 2002 feature based on the popular Nickelodeon series. He was best known for his work on SpongeBob SquarePants. In addition to being the storyboard artist for SpongeBob SquarePants The Movie in 2004, he served as supervising storyboard director for 47 episodes of the hit series from 2007 to 2014. On top of that, he wrote six episodes.
In 2011, he won an Annie Award for Best Music in a Television Production alongside Jeremy Wakefield, Sage Guyton, and Nick Carr. His other credits include Family Guy, Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Drawn Together, The Fairly OddParents, among others. In 2015, he began teaching graphic and animation design at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
Most recently, he worked on the upcoming Bob’s Burgers feature, which is set to be released by 20th Century Studios currently on April 9, 2021.
Hey Arnold! creator Craig Bartlett took to Instagram to honor Tucker. “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,” wrote Bartlett. “I’ll always remember him at his drawing board, arms blackened to the elbows with graphite, eraser shavings everywhere, bringing my characters to life. A killer work ethic, passionately into it. I’m so lucky I got to work with him for so many years. He gave and gave. I miss him already, my heart is broken. Rest in power, Tuck Tucker.”