Stefán Karl Stefánsson Has Died At The Age Of 43

22 August 2018, 09:39 | Updated: 22 August 2018, 10:08

Stefán Karl Stefánsson
Stefán Karl Stefánsson. Picture: Amy Graves / Stringer

He is survived by his wife, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, and four children.

Actor Stefán Karl Stefánsson, known around the world for his role as Robbie Rotten in the hit show 'LazyTown' has died at the age of 43.

Stefán was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma - cancer of the bile duct - in 2016. The news sparked an outpouring of love across the world, resulting in over $160,000 being raised to support Stefán through his illness. Unfortunately, in March of 2018, his cancer metastasised and became inoperable.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Stefán's wife, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, said:

"My beloved, Stefan Karl Stefansson, 43, has passed away after battling aggressive bile duct cancer for two years. Per Stefan's wishes, there will be no funeral. His earthly remains will be scattered in secrecy in a distant ocean. 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."

He is survived by his wife Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir and his four children. Tributes have poured in for Stefán from across the world.

His wife said that "Per Stefan's wishes, there will be no funeral. His earthly remains will be scattered in secrecy in a distant ocean."

Stefán's legacy

Stefán Karl Stefánsson was born in Iceland in 1975. He rose to fame in his native country as a versatile, multi-talented actor and performer. In 2004 he took on the role of Robbie Rotten, the main villain in the new family TV show 'LazyTown' - a role he had previously played on the Icelandic stage. 'LazyTown' went on to become a smash hit around the world, gaining Stefán and his character countless fans.

The actor then experienced a second round of widespread appreciation when, in 2016, a song he performed on the show - 'We Are Number One' became an unexpectedly popular meme. Stefán wholeheartedly embraced his position as a living meme, much to the delight of fans around the world. He even thanked people for the meme by gathering the original actors from the show and performing it live online.

Remembering Stefán

When Stefán revealed that his cancer had become inoperable, he posted the following words, which truly speak to the kind of positive and inspirational figure that he was:

"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."

Rest in peace, Stefán.