Teletubbies actor Simon Shelton Barnes has died at age 52 – now, his heartbroken family members and costars are paying tribute.
"What a week!" actor John Simmit (who played Dipsy in the show), tweeted after learning of the sad news. "RIP Simon Shelton aka Tinky Winky: remembering the many good times. Rest easy."
"Lots of messaging between cast and crew as we became a tight bunch over six years on location. We'll give him an appropriate send off in a couple of weeks," he continued.
The face behind the show's most controversial character, Tinky Winky, is survived by his three kids.
Said his son Henry after his passing: "I lost my lovely dad on Wednesday, he was the kindest and most gentle man I knew and I love him more than anything."
"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," he continued. "He is in a better place now and I know he wouldn't want me to be sad, so I'm going to live my life the way he would want me to."
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Simon's daughter, Lydia Barnes, also took to social media to share her grief over his death. "I love you so much Dad... always have, always will. The most beautiful man in the world. Forever in my heart," she wrote.
After the news of his mysterious passing broke, CBeebies parenting tweeted to their fans: "Very sad to hear Teletubbies actor Simon Shelton who played Tinky Winky has passed away! Tubby hugs."
As RadarOnline.com readers know, Simon Shelton Barnes Teletubbies was not the original Tinky Winky. The former actor was fired by the network for allegedly being "too gay."
Regardless, Simon – a professional ballet dancer and actor – was loved by all. He will be missed.
RIP Simon Shelton Barnes.
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