'Teletubbies' actor's family pens touching tributes to 'beautiful' performer

The family of “Teletubbies” actor Simon Shelton Barnes penned touching tributes on Tuesday to the “beloved” performer, who reportedly “froze to death” after collapsing in Britain.

Barnes, a British actor who played purple Teletubby "Tinky Winky," died at the age of 52 on Jan. 17. His two oldest children, Lydia and Henry Barnes, said their father was “the most beautiful man in the world.”

“I love you so much dad. Always have, always will,” his daughter wrote on social media, according to the Evening Standard. "The most beautiful man in the world. Forever in my heart.”

“'I lost my lovely dad on Wednesday, he was the kindest and most gentle man I knew and I love him more than anything,” Barnes wrote in his own tribute. “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 added that his father was “in a better place now.”


"Beautiful messages flooding in after the loss of our brilliant uncle Simon," Barnes' niece Molly Robbins said in a post. 

"He was so much more than Tinky Winky to us, but how incredible that his talent will continue to entertain young children for years to come. We all loved him so much." 

Barnes’ niece, "Inbetweeners" actress Emily Atack, shared her condolences last week in an Instagram post: “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”

Barnes, a father of three, reportedly died of hypothermia after he collapsed on a street in Liverpool, according to the Evening Standard. Merseyside Police said the actor’s death was not suspicious.  

Barnes, a trained ballet dancer and choreographer, joined the cast of the "Teletubbies" in 1998. He took over the role as the Tinky Winky after the original actor was fired. Barnes' Teletubby became famous for carrying a magic bag on the show. The series ended in 2001.

The original “Teletubbies” was syndicated around the world in more than 120 countries in 45 languages, the BBC reported.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam