Remembering The Legacy Of Robbie Rotten And Lazytown
Meta description: REMEMBERING STEPHEN – The actor playing Robbie Rotten in the renowned TV show, LazyTown passed away at 43 last year. Fans have been paying tribute ever since.
A tribute to the Meme King of Iceland and the LazyTown actor, Stephen
Every good story needs a hero and a villain and the TV show, Lazy Town is no exception. The antagonist of the story Robbie Rotten (played by the late Stefán Karl Stefánsson) was a shining example of this. Being the sore nemesis of the ‘hero’ Sportacus, Mr Rotten always tried his level best to make Sportacus the laughing stock of the town. Mr Rotten was jealous of Sportacus as he was loved by all the children of Lazy Town and as revenge, plotted nasty schemes to embarrass him. In the series, Stephanie went in adventures with Sportacus, her athletic superhero friend as they went around preaching the benefits of staying active to the sedentary residents of Lazy Town. Robbie Rotten who was the complete opposite to this lifestyle always tried to thwart their plans but always failed to do so due to Sportacus’s amazing athletic abilities and sharp mind.
Within a short period of time, the show became a massive hit and was sold over to 180 countries, Originally it ran from 2004-2008 but was later revived in 2013 with Stefánsson reprising his villainous role. Also known as Glanni Glæpur in Iceland, he was notoriously known for being lazy and always spending his time in his underground lair watching television and eating junk food. What the show tried to highlight was the importance of healthy living and the negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, which is why it was loved by so many people from all over the world.
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When the actor died aged 43, fans from all over the world started a subscription campaign as a final ‘thank you’ to the actor. After getting diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in 2016, the actor was given time to remove it by 2017 via surgery. In 2018, the actor later announced that the cancer was back and was inoperable. Although Robbie Rotten was the underdog of the show, he was extremely relatable and fans loved this. When they heard about Robbie’s cancer, they decided to celebrate him instead of sulking over his forthcoming demise. Even his co-star, Stephanie shared a picture of the pair hugging each other and wrote, “Death leaves heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. I always will be dancing right beside you.”
Robbie Rotten appeared in every episode of Lazytown and made his debut in “Welcome to LazyTown”. His last performance was in the “Mystery of the Pyramid” episode. In 2014, LazyTown aired its last episode and the main show theme of ‘being physically active’ was already resonating through the minds of millions of people worldwide, especially children. This is why when the actor was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, fans went into a frenzy and his co-stars started an online petition to fund for the actor’s treatment in 2016. To help Karl recover from his cancer-related surgery fans took to the internet and raised over $169,000! Some started making memes on the actor and it boomed! In an age where celebrities are embarrassed to acknowledge that they are memes, Stephen instead acknowledged his role and even created a Twitter account to graciously interact with his friends, The same year he performed a reenactment of “We Are Number One,” which was watched online by over 50,000 people. When the actor was fighting Stage 4 cancer in 2017, one of his friends wrote on Reddit,” Please know that Stefan reads and enjoys your memes, artwork and good wishes.”
Being a trained puppeteer from the Drama Academy of Iceland, Stefánsson first did his maiden performance as Robbie Rotten in a stage version of LazyTown in 1999. Later, he was cast in a TV adoption of the show licensed by Nickelodeon. He gave regular updates on social media about his condition and later confirmed on March that he won’t be continuing his chemotherapy treatment and cancer has returned. Later, he deactivated his social media accounts. His last tear-jerking words were, “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.”
In June. Steinunn Olina Thorsteinsdottir (Stephan’s wife) told that the father of four was in his final stages. Later, a post stated that his family followed his wishes to scatter his remains at sea as a tribute to him.
You will be loved, Stephen a.k.a Robbie Rotten… Rest in Peace.