Beloved Icelandic actor Stefán Karl Stefánsson, best known as Robbie Rotten from LazyTown, passed away today at age 43 after a two year fight with bile duct cancer. He leaves behind his wife and four children.
In a statement posted to Facebook, his wife, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, said that, as per Stefán’s wishes, there will be no funeral. “His earthly remains will be scattered in secrecy in a distant ocean,” she wrote. “Stefan’s family wants to express their gratitude for the support and warmth received in recent years, and to express their deepest sympathy to the many friends and fans of Stefan Karl.”
While initial treatment of his cancer had been promising, in March, it was discovered to be terminal. At that time, Stefán released a heartwarming statement to his fans on Twitter.
“It’s not until they tell you you’re going to die soon that you realise how short life is. Time is the most valuable thing in life because it never comes back. And whether you spend it in the arms of a loved one or alone in a prison cell, life is what you make of it. Dream big.”
Robbie Rotten was the primary villain of LazyTown, known his devious schemes against Stephanie and Sportacus in his effort to keep the residents of the town lazy. After the show ended, one of his songs, ‘We Are Number One’, resurfaced as a popular meme online, which Stefán was reportedly very happy about, often communicating with fans on Twitter about the meme. One year ago, he even livestreamed himself remaking the song, with 50,000 people watching.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.