Family

LazyTown's 'Robbie Rotten' actor Stefan Karl Stefansson has passed away at age 43

By: Rebel Wylie

Icelandic actor Stefan Karl Stefansson, who played LazyTown's lovable villain, Robbie Rotten, has died aged 43 following a two-year battle with cancer.

Stefansson was best known for his villainous role as Robbie Rotten in the popular children's TV show, LazyTown between 2004 and 2007, and again from 2013-2014.

"It's not until they tell you you're going to die soon that you realise how short life is,"

Initially diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016, the star assured fans that the cancer had been removed with surgery. However, in March he took to Twitter to announce that the disease had returned and was inoperable.

"It's not until they tell you you're going to die soon that you realize 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," he posted to Twitter.

In June Stefansson's wife, Steinunn Olina revealed the father-of-four's cancer had advanced to its final stages.

A post on Tuesday paid an emotional tribute to her 'beloved' husband, saying the family would follow his wishes to scatter his remains at sea.

"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," she wrote.

Earlier posts from Olina had expressed just how difficult the star's illness had been on the entire family.

She wrote; "We know that time is now more precious than never, and we have decided to enjoy it, while having the chance."

"It is unbearable for us to tell our children that their father will not be an old man and that the time we have together is very short."

“LazyTown is the laziest town on the planet, and I'm gonna keep it that way!”

Stefansson's early career was in the theatre, but he truly shot to fame with his rubbery faced, enthusiastic portrayal of Robbie Rotten.

LazyTown followed the life of a pink-haired eight-year-old girl named Stephanie and her superhero companion Sportacus. The pair attempt to bring a bit of life to Lazytown, where the residents are, well … lazy.

Robbie Rotten was the show's hilarious villain whose bungled attempts at thwarting their schemes, brought giggles to children and adults alike.

LazyTown, produced in Iceland, was translated into dozens of languages and aired in more than 180 countries worldwide.

Fans who grew up with the show, have taken to social media to express their sadness at the news of Stefansson's death.

"Lazytown was a big part of my childhood, and it's so sad to see such an amazing character that brought smiles to everyone even in 2018 has left us. We'll miss you Rotten!"