Teletubbies actor Simon Shelton (a.k.a. Simon Barnes) was found dead in Liverpool last week just four days after his 52nd birthday. Shelton was best known for portraying the purple, purse-holding Teletubby “Tinky-Winky” on the series from 1998 to 2001 after the original actor who played the role was fired. Details of the actor and trained ballet dancer’s death are unclear, but it’s being reported that he died of hypothermia after collapsing on the streets of Liverpool last week on January 17.
Shelton leaves behind a wife and three children. His daughter, make-up artist Lydia Barnes, mourned his passing on social media by writing, “I love you so much dad. Always have, always will. The most beautiful man in the world. Forever in my heart.”
His son Henry likewise remembered his father on Facebook. “I lost my lovely dad on Wednesday, he was the kindest and most gentle man I knew and I love him more than anything,” he wrote. “I always used to be embarrassed as a child that he was a dancer and an actor but now I couldn’t be more proud!”
Shelton’s niece, actress Emily Atack who starred on the British sitcom The Inbetweeners, also paid tribute to her uncle on Instagram, writing that he was “Loved by all who knew him, and will be forever.”