The family of the deceased Teletubbies actor Simon Shelton reminded of “the loved one” performer as a man who “has lived a wonderful life, and achieved so much”.
“The love we have for him will live on,” said Lydia, and Henry Barnes, his two eldest sons.
Shelton, who was also known as Simon Barnes, played the viola, carrying Teletubby Tinky Winky in the original BBC series for children.
His body was found on January 17 in the area around the Isle of Mann to Liverpool.
Merseyside Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, which some reports attributed to hypothermia.
Tinky Winky actor dies aged 52
“It is with great sadness to say we lost our beloved dad last week,” said Lydia, and Henry Barnes, who offers thanks to everyone for their kind messages of support”.
“We now ask that we are left to cry in private with our family,” the statement continued.
Shelton, a father of three, had recently marked his 52nd birthday.
His niece, Emily Atack from the Inbetweeners, remembered him on Instagram as “the most kind and the most talented man you could ever wish to meet”.
My wonderful uncle Simon Barnes was taken from us all so suddenly. Dear and most talented man you could ever wish to meet. Loved by all who knew him, and always will be. X
A post shared by Emily Atack (@emilyatackofficial) January 19, 2018 at 4:33am PST
The end of the Instagram post by emilyatackofficial
Shelton has taken on the role, and costume, Tinky Winky after the initial actor Dave Thompson was sacked in 1997.
His co-star, John Simmit, who played the green Teletubby ” Named, it is said, “remember the good times,” in a post that has been retweeted by Pui Fan Lee, aka the red Teletubby Po.
The actor was also remembered by Ragdoll Productions, the creators of Teletubbies, as “a true pleasure to work with them.”
In a statement on Twitter, the production company, recalled “the fun and the energy that came through the screen in all his performances as “teletubbies”.
The original series has been seen by about one billion children in more than 120 countries in 45 languages.
Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion, email [email protected]