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‘LazyTown’ villain Stefan Karl Stefansson dies at 43

Stefan Karl Stefansson (pictured in Baltimore) played the Grinch in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” at the Citi Wang Theatre in Boston in 2008.
Jay Premack for The Boston Globe
Stefan Karl Stefansson (pictured in Baltimore) played the Grinch in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” at the Citi Wang Theatre in Boston in 2008.

LONDON (AP) — Icelandic actor Stefan Karl Stefansson, who played villain Robbie Rotten in the children’s TV series ‘‘LazyTown,’’ has died of cancer. He was 43.

The actor’s wife, Steinunn Olina Thorsteinsdottir, announced on Facebook that he died Tuesday.

Trained as a stage actor and puppeteer, Stefansson was best known for ‘‘LazyTown,’’ where his junk food-munching villain was pitted against child heroine Stephanie and fitness-loving hero Sportacus. The Iceland-made show, a mix of animation, live action and CGI, ran between 2004 and 2007, and from 2013 to 2014.

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In 2008, Stefansson led Boston’s production of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” as the title character, delivering “an all-out, energetic, crowd-pleasing performance,” according to a Globe review in which he was billed as Stefan Karl.

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Stefansson was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in 2016. He announced earlier this year that the disease had returned and was inoperable.

He is survived by his wife and four children. Thorsteinsdottir said his ashes would be scattered on the ocean, in keeping with his wishes.

Stefan Karl Stefansson as The Grinch with the 2008 touring cast of  ‘Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical’ in 2008.
Charles T. Erickson for the Boston Globe
Stefan Karl Stefansson as The Grinch with the 2008 touring cast of ‘Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical’ in 2008.