LazyTown actor Julianna Rose Mauriello has paid a touching tribute to her late co-star Stefán Karl Stefánsson on Twitter, after it was announced yestesterday that he had passed away.
Stefán and Julianna worked together on the kids' TV show, bringing joy to many viewers through their characters Stephanie and Robbie Rotten.
Paying tribute to her co-star of almost 10 years, Julianna tweeted a photo of the two of them from behind the scenes of LazyTown.
In the tweet, she also wrote: "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
"I always will be dancing right beside you. But I know you are not alone, you have my mom and grandma. Please watch over me. I will try to stay strong."
It was announced yesterday by Stefán's wife that the actor had lost his two-year battle with aggressive bile duct cancer aged just 43.
In a heartfelt statement posted to Facebook, she wrote: "My beloved, Stefan Karl Stefansson, 43, has passed away after battling aggressive bile duct cancer for two years.
"Per Stefan's wishes, there will be no funeral. His earthly remains will be scattered in secrecy in a distant ocean.
"Stefan's family wants to express their gratitude for the support and warmth received in recent years, and to express their deepest sympathy to the many friends and fans of Stefan Karl."
Stefán, who was known as the man behind LazyTown character Robbie Rotten, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016 and underwent surgery to have his metastases removed. Following his diagnosis, he received thousands of supportive messages from fans.
In 2017, it looked as though he was recovering - but in March he revealed that his cancer had returned, and that this time, it was incurable.
That month, he tweeted a poignant message to fans, in which he referred to time as 'the most valuable thing'.
He wrote: "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."
He added: "Dream big."
His last Instagram post was posted in June, which was a picture that read 'At the end of every storm is a rainbow of hope'. He captioned it: "From the bottom of my heart I thank you for the support you provide me. You give me hope and you all move me."
Rest in peace, Stefán.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@tres_juli/Instagram/@stefanssonkarl
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