Aart Staartjes Dead: A Tribute to the ‘Meneer Aart’ Actor

aart staartjes dead

Getty Aart Staartjes, the iconic Sesame Street actor is dead.

Aaart Staartjes, the Dutch actor who was beloved to generations of children in his country’s version of Sesame Street, has died after a traffic accident, according to NOS, AD and other sites.

Staartjes was 81 years old. He was known to Dutch children as Meneer Aart from Sesame Street. The cause of death was injuries stemming from the accident, which occurred January 10, 2020. Twitter flooded with tributes to the iconic actor, with whom many people feel they grew up.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Staartjes Was on a Moped When He Was in a Terrible Accident With a Car

According to NOS, Staartjes was wounded on Friday, January 10, 2020 in Leeuwarden on Friday in a traffic accident between “his moped car and a car.”

Tragically, those are the injuries he died from, it was announced two days later.

The police wrote on Twitter, “On the Harlingerstraatweg in #Leeuwarden this afternoon around 2.15 pm a serious accident occurred between a moped car and a car. A person was taken seriously injured to a hospital. The police have started an investigation into the cause of this accident.”

Police added, “The moped car driver is an 81-year-old man from #Dronryp. #Leeuwarden.” It was later revealed they were talking about Staartjes.

2. Staartjes Was Involved in Creating Children’s Programming

Staartjes developed children’s programming beyond his appearance on Sesame Street. According to NOS, in the 70s and 80s, he was especially prolific in that area.

“Hee was jointly responsible for high-profile youth series such as De Stratemakeropzeeshow, J.J De Bom, formerly known as the Kindervriend, De Film van Ome Willem and Het Klokhuis,” the site reported, and he hosted Sinterklaas for several decades.

As such, he was a very well-known figure on Dutch television for years.

3. People Expressed Grief on Twitter

People shared the hashtag #AartStaartjes on Twitter and wrote tributes to the actor, many of them in Dutch. Here are some of the comments:

“Unfortunately another great youth hero died.”

“RIP :-( grew up with this fantastic man! A lot of strength to all relatives and colleagues! ?.”

“How sad! PD This sweet versatile man! RIP Aart! ??.”

One woman used her nails to create a tribute to Aart.

Another simply wrote, “Meneer Aart is niet meer.”

4. Staartjes, Who Got His Start in Pantomime, Had Said He Knew Death Was Near

According to AD, Staartjes recently said, “that death was approaching…It is finite, I can feel that. I feel that I am in the last company. If you are 81 like me, the chance that you will be 91 is very small.”

AD reported that Staartjes started out in pantomime in the 1950s. His pantomime company, started with his friends, was called Pantalon.

He went to drama school in later years, but his breakthrough was the grouchy character Meneer Art in Sesasme Street. That character “often grumbled at animals from the series such as Tommie, Ieniemienie, Purk and Pino,” the site recalled.

5. Aart Staartjes Was Born in Nieuwendam in the Netherlands

According to his IMDB profile, Staartjes was born on March 1, 1938 in Nieuwendam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands. “He is an actor, known for De film van ome Willem (1974), De stratenmaker op zee show (1972) and J.J. de Bom voorheen: ‘De kindervriend’ (1979),” the site says.

He is the father of Paul Staartjes, an actor and cinematographer.

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