Steinunn Olina Þorsteinsdóttir is the wife of Stefan Karl Stefansson, the actor behind Robbie Rotten of the popular TV show LazyTown who was recently confirmed to be free of cancer for the time being. Þorsteinsdóttir, 46, is an accomplished actress herself as well as the editor-in-chief of a popular women’s magazine and the founder of a social media public relations company among a long list of accomplishments.
Here’s everything you need to know.
1. She Is An Accomplished Actress
Like her husband, Þorsteinsdóttir worked as an actress at the National Theatre of Iceland as well as several other theatres from 1990 to 2004, according to her LinkedIn page. She has been acting since 1984 when she was 15 years old. She studied at the Drama Centre London in London, UK from 1987 to 1990.
One of her biggest roles was Gabriela in Case, a 2015 Icelandic TV show about a young girl being found hanged in a theater. For her performance, she won the Fipa d’or for Best Actress in a TV series at Biarritz’ FIPA International Festival of Audiovisual Works.
According to her LinkedIn page, she was the director of casting and voice-over for Disney, Warner Brothers, and Turner Broadcasting in Iceland from 1995 to 1998. According to IMDB, she is the voice of characters for the Icelandic dubs for many Disney films. She’s the voice of Nala in The Lion King, Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians, the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Quasimodo’s Mother in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Her other notable TV show appearances according to IMDB include playing Aldis Eiriksdottir in Trapped about policeman trying to solve a crime as a storm appears in a remote Icelandic town, and Didda in Fangar where a woman serves time in Iceland’s only women’s prison.
She’s also played the role of Wealtheow in the 2005 retelling of the epic poem Beowulf, Beowulf & Grendel.
2. She’s the Editor-in-Chief of a Woman’s Magazine
Þorsteinsdóttir is the editor-in-chief at women’s magazine Kvennablaðið, according to her Facebook page. Her LinkedIn page says she worked for the publication since April 2013.
According to Kvennablaðið’s official Facebook page, the objective of the publication is to draw attention to women’s issues both for women inside the household and outside. It was founded in 1895 by Breti Bjarnhéðinsdóttir and now takes the form of a website.
The articles they write include one about the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea after North Korea threatened to shoot a missile towards Guam.
Þorsteinsdóttir worked as a writer, columnist, and US correspondent for Iceland for the Icelandic news outlet Morgunbladið from April 2005 to 2009, according to her LinkedIn page.
3. She’s the Founder of Pop People & Hosted Her Own Talk Show, Among a Long List of Other Accomplishments
Þorsteinsdóttir is the founder and social media content strategist/creator for Pop people since April 2012, according to her LinkedIn page. Pop People is a social media public relations company that “specializes in creating content for companies, celebrities, and small-businesses for use on social media outlets… We create relationships, keep our customers engaged, informed, and entertained,” as written on the LinkedIn page.
She hosted her own weekly TV Talk Show on Channel 1 Iceland on RUV National Television Broadcasting from 1999 to 2002, producing, directing, and writing material along with her team of co-writers and producers, according to the LinkedIn page.
She has been the owner of Philotree, a crowd-funding platform, since January 2012.
She was the owner, creator, and producer of Stefan Karl Productions from April 2005 to July 2012 and was in charge of scriptwriting, research, project coordination, and producing.
She was also an assistant and project coordinator for Regnbogaborn (Rainbow-Children), a non-profit anti-bullying organization founded by Stefansson.
She also worked as an online sales manager for Cintamani from May 2014 to 2016.
According to her Facebook page, Þorsteinsdóttir also worked in a cinema known as Tjarnarbíó. Tjarnarbíó started off in 1913 as an apartment house in Reykjavík, Iceland before being converted into a cinema in 1942, according to the cinema’s official Facebook page. Since March 29, 2014, the space became a center for artistic workshops with people displaying their works in the space. The space has been rented for working groups, high schools, student shows, concerts, entertainment groups, and film shows. There’s also a cafe in the building.
4. She Is the Wife of Stefan Karl Stefansson, the Actor Behind Robbie Rotten
Stefan Karl Stefansson and Þorsteinsdóttir married on December 29, 2002. They live in San Francisco, California with their four children.
Þorsteinsdóttir is a US Citizen and Stefansson has a green card.
Stefansson is best known for portraying the character of Robbie Rotten, the antagonist of the hit TV show LazyTown. His performance of the song We Are Number One in LazyTown has lead to the creation of one of the most popular memes of 2016 where people would remix footage of the music video for the song. He’s performed several different roles throughout his career, such as playing the Grinch in in Running Subway Productions’ production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas the Musical. He also portrayed the singing sheep farmer in the popular Icelandic feature comedy Stella Runs for Office as well as contributed voice work for Night at the Museum and Thor.
He won the Thorbjorn Egner Honorary Award for his work at the National Theatre of Iceland in 2000, according to IMDB.
5. Stefan Karl Has Cancer But Is Free From It for the Time Being
Stefansson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2016. In May 2017, the cancer relapsed and Stefansson had two masses removed from his liver according to The Sun. Then on June 21, 2017, he was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, bile-duct cancer, and it reached stage four according to Metro.
When the cancer reached stage four, Þorsteinsdóttir wrote in a Facebook post that cholangiocarcinoma has little research done on it, but they weren’t giving up.
Although the chances and statistics are not in our favor, and Stefán’s candle burns quickly, we will not be scared of fear.
Stefansson wrote a tribute to Þorsteinsdóttir, as translated by Inquisitr:
I love you more than anything in this universe, and I look forward to spending the next few years with you with laughter and joy as the past 14 years have been with us. I hope we are getting caught up today so I can tell you all this in person, but I just told the outside world how much I love you, my love. You’re my adventurous princess, and it will always be while our adventure continues to write itself.
A GoFundMe page was set up in October 2016 to help raise funds for Stefansson after he became too ill to work. The page currently has over $162,300 donated by over 11,000 people.
In August 2017, Stefansson told RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, that he is free from cancer for the time being. Stefansson later clarified on his GoFundMe page that while he is free of cancer metastases, or cancer that spreads to different parts of the body from where it started according to Cancer.net, after liver surgery in June 2017, he is not completely free of cancer yet. He refused any further adjuvant therapy including chemotherapy because there is a less than three percent chance of it making any difference and may just make him more sick. If a metastasis comes back, they will try surgery or nothing at all. He promised to keep everyone posted and told his fans to cross their fingers and keep thinking of him.
Stefansson is planning to go back on stage at the National Theatre of Iceland for their production of Stones in His Pocket this month, but only for 10 shows. He also teased a secret project that he will be revealing soon.