An actor who appeared on “Teletubbies” died at the age of 52.
Simon Shelton, who is known for playing purple Teletubby Tinky Winky, was confirmed dead by the BBC on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Actress Emily Atack said on Instagram that her “wonderful uncle,” Shelton, had been “taken so suddenly,” and he was “the kindest and most talented man you could ever wish to meet.”
His cause of death is not clear.
He took over the Tinky Winky role after its original actor Dave Thompson was fired in 1997. Thompson was fired because his “interpretation of the role was not acceptable,” the Telegraph reported.
Other roles of Shelton include The Dark Knight in the TV show “Incredible Games.”
Fans pay tribute to their 'childhood' as Teletubbies actor dies https://t.co/HImzxWBCtD
— Evening Standard (@standardnews) January 23, 2018
“I didn’t know it would be as big as it was, but I did know as soon as I started working on it that it had something special,” Shelton said in 2008 about the “Teletubbies” show.
The first “Teletubbies” show was watched by more than 1 billion children in 120 countries and 45 languages, according to the BBC.
Tinky Winky was the tallest Teletubby character who always carried a red bag.
Writing about the show’s impact, Stuart Heritage noted in the Guardian: “Teletubbies was different. It was brightly coloured. It was airy. It was shot outside, so it had the slightest drab tinge to it. The characters communicated in what sounded like a stream of unbroken nonsense.”