Actor Stefán Karl Stefánsson remembered around the world

Since the death of beloved Icelandic actor Stefán Karl Stefánsson was announced by his widow on Facebook last night, he has been remembered in numerous news media abroad.

Stefán, who died at the age of 43 after a two-year battle with bile duct cancer, was best known for his role as the villain Robbie Rotten in the TV series Lazy Town, produced from 2004 to 2014.

The BBC report remembers how he shared thoughts with fans online, such as when he tweeted in March, announcing that the cancer had returned and was inoperable:

“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.”

 Stefán brought laughter and joy to children worldwide. “Entertaining and making kids laugh is my favorite thing,” Stefán posted on Reddit a year ago.

He graduated from The Icelandic Acting Academy in 1999 and was hired at the National Theater of Iceland that same year. He subsequently got roles at other theaters, on TV and in films. The children’s TV series Lazy Town was broadcast in more than 180 countries.

Between 2008 and 2015, Stefán plaid the Grinch in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” a show that traveled widely within the US and Canada.

Stefán launched a battle against bullying and established the organization Rainbow Children (Regnbogabörn), aimed at educating children about bullying. He gave numerous lectures on the subject in schools and elsewhere.

He earned a number of awards for acting, and on June 17, the President of Iceland awarded him the Icelandic Knight’s Cross for his contribution to Icelandic acting and community.

Stefán is survived by his wife, actress/director Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, and their four children. Steinunn announced on Facebook yesterday that Stefán’s ashes will be scattered at sea.

 Fans posted on Twitter last night:

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