Actor Bram van der Vlugt, best known for his role as Sinterklaas, died in his sleep at the age of 86 from the consequences of the corona virus.

Many celebrities react sadly to the news on Saturday.

"For many this will feel like a great loss. It is", tweeted actor Stefan de Walle, who took over the role of Sinterklaas from Van der Vlugt in 2011.

He calls his predecessor a "great, strong, talented man" and wishes family, friends and loved ones lots of strength and strength.

"The Netherlands has one less icon as of today, Spain actually too," writes Jochem Myjer on Instagram.

He also shares a personal message.

"Because I knew the mayor of Zutphen personally, as a little boy of nine I was allowed to shake hands with you on your first entry and welcome you to our Hanseatic city. Rarely trembled in my life."

"In 2010 in Harderwijk at your last entry, I was allowed to stand next to you on the parcel boat as Piet, your servant. As if it had to be like that. You always thought that was a good story. Me too."

'He had grown old, but still had that same twinkle'

Jim Bakkum brings up a nice memory on Instagram of his meeting with Van der Vlugt.

“Seventeen years ago, I sat on his lap during the

Fox Kids Sinterklaas party

and, exceptionally, was allowed to attend his transformation in the morning before the shows started. I was sixteen, but I looked like six. I thought that was special. "

Years later he met Van der Vlugt again: "I saw that he had really grown old, but he still had that same twinkle. And now ... Now Bram is gone. How special he made our youth. Rest in peace . "

Actor Bram van der Vlugt (86) passed away

© ANP

© Brunopress

© ANP

On his eightieth birthday, on the set of the theater play On Golden Pond.

© BrunoPress

© ANP

Former politician Boris van der Ham praises Van der Vlugt's versatility on Twitter: "Charming actor, who played so many other beautiful roles than just Sinterklaas. In addition, socially involved for the preservation of the Green Heart, which I used to meet and talk about regularly."

'Until the very end in life and in the theater'

"Great actor, brilliant 'advisor' to Sinterklaas, but above all a beautiful person has died", can be read in Jochem van Gelder's Twitter message.

"Very sad. A sweet and talented man", writes Kasper van Kooten.

"Much strength for those close to you."

Cornald Maas is also reporting on the death of Van der Vlugt.

"Until the end in full in life, and in the theater", he writes on Twitter.

"Articulate, erudite, witty, with a great love for language, and with a great interest in the past that connects us."

See also: Bram van der Vlugt wanted to act 'until death follows'