If you have young people in your life, no doubt you'll be familiar with 'LazyTown' and one of its main characters, Robbie Rotten.

The English-language Icelandic children's TV show was originally commissioned by Nickelodeon and ran from 2004 - 2014. It was hugely popular, being dubbed in thirty languages and airing in over 180 countries.

The sad news this morning is that the Icelandic actor who played Robbie Rotten, Stefan Karl Stefansson, has died after a battle with bile duct cancer. He was just 43.

His wife Steinunn Olina - with whom he had four children - confirmed the news with a post on Facebook yesterday, revealing that he would not have a funeral as per his own wishes. 

"My beloved, Stefan Karl Stefansson, 43, has passed away after battling aggressive bile duct cancer for two years," she wrote. "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."

Stefansson had previously had the cancer treated, but it returned earlier this year and he released a statement to fans in March revealing that it was inoperable. "It’s not until they tell you you’re going to die soon that you realize how short life is," he wrote. "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."