Simon Shelton Barnes, the man who played purple, purse-carrying Tinky Winky on ‘Teletubbies’ has died from hypothermia at 52. Read his daughter’s beautiful tribute.
You may not recognize Simon Shelton Barnes, but you definitely know him. The British actor and ballet dancer played one of the Teletubbies from 1998 to 2001, shaping many of your childhoods. Simon unfortunately froze to death on the streets of Liverpool, England on January 17. Local police confirmed the 52-year-old’s death in a statement to Daily Mail: “We were called to the Mann Island area of Liverpool on January 17 at about 7.30 in the morning to reports of a man being found deceased. There are no suspicious circumstances, so anything else around this tragedy we are referring to the coroners.”
At this point, no other details are known about the father of three’s death — how he wound up collapsed on the street, dying of hypothermia. His daughter, makeup artist Lydia Barnes, posted a beautiful tribute to him on social media following his death: “I love you so much dad. Always have, always will. The most beautiful man in the world. Forever in my heart.”
His son, Henry Barnes, posted his own message, as well. “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! 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.”
Simon was also the uncle of Inbetweeners star Emily Atack, who honored him on Instagram: “My wonderful uncle Simon Barnes has been taken from us all so suddenly. The kindest and most talented man you could ever wish to meet. Loved by all who knew him, and will be forever. X” May Simon rest in peace.