The actor who portrayed Tinky Winky in children’s series Teletubbies, Simon Barnes, the father of 3, passed away 4 days after celebrating his 52nd birthday. The trained ballet dancer and choreographer portrayed Tinky Winky in the hit series. His character always carried a red magic handbag and was believed to be gay, that is why evangelical preachers often accused him of damaging children’s minds, but the actor hit back the controversy saying the character was 3 years old, so trying to define his sexuality was quite strange. Barnes played Tinky Winky from 1997 when Dave Thompson stepped down from the role. “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,” the actor’s niece, actress Emily Atack, wrote on Instagram.