Dave Creek, a lead character designer on the beloved animated Fox series Bob’s Burgers, died on Thursday. Variety and original reporting outlet Cartoon Brew confirm that the animator’s death was caused by complication from a skydiving accident that occurred the previous weekend. 20th Television, Fox Entertainment and its Bento Box Entertainment animation studio unit, which produces Bob’s Burgers, said in a joint statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “We are heartbroken at the tragic passing of Dave Creek, an extraordinary artist who had been with Bob’s Burgers from day one. He was not just an incredible talent but a beautiful person as well, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and all his colleagues at the show who loved him and are grieving today.” He was 42.
Creek has been with the Loren Bouchard-helmed hit since its inception in 2011, beginning as a character designer before being eventually promoted to his leadership role. His credits also include Apple TV+’s Central Park, Brickleberry, and Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown. Outside of the world of television, he served as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Cal Arts.
Friends and colleagues paid tribute to Creek on social media, citing him as a gutsy man with a passion for skydiving, bonsai trees, and building ornate treehouses (which he showcased on his Instagram page). Bob’s Burgers writer Wendy Molyneux described Creek as “an adventurous funny outgoing amazing artist and one of the most incredible, interesting people I ever met.” Credited by many as the creative mind behind so many of the treasured characters on the popular series, Molyneaux also managed to succinctly note his impact in her tribute: “If you love Bob’s Burgers, you loved Dave Creek.”