Everyone loves a good urban legend and for years, the laughing baby in the sun on Teletubbies made for an amazing one. Little was known about the real identity of the infant who giggled over Teletubbyland on the PBS British children's export other than her name, Jess Smith. Somewhere along the way, that morphed into Jessica Smith, one of the stars of MTV's Laguna Beach.
That would have been an amazing and random coincidence: Giggling infant grows up to become pot-stirrer on reality show. Although the rumor was frequently circulated 'round the web, it's not true. Now, after all these years, the sun baby has finally come forward.
Her name is Jess Smith and she's a 19-year-old from Chatham, Kent, in the U.K. She kept her involvement with the show a secret for years — only her family knew. On her 19th birthday, though, she decided to come clean. According to the Daily Mail, Smith made the pronouncement in a Facebook post.
"So I've recently celebrated my 19th birthday and after a lot of thought, I've decided it's time to tell everyone. I used to hide it, but after a lot of encouragement from my friends at university, I've gained the confidence to come out with it. I am the sun from Teletubbies. There has been quite a few people pretending to be 'the sun,' but only I could tell you the real story. Everyone says they can see the likeness between my face now and me as a baby. I still have a baby face. I haven't changed much either. I am still giggly."
Smith also shared a letter her parents received from Teletubbies' original production company about her involvement with the show and said she isn't sure why the other Jessica Smith would claim to be the baby on the show. "She would have been about 10 at the time of filming — and she doesn't even look like the baby," Jess Smith pointed out.
Smith said that she was selected to be on the show when a scout sent to find smiley babies spotted her at the hospital. She was compensated £250 (less than $400) and a box of toys for her role. No one predicted how much of a success the show would become, so she never received royalties.
Now a dance education student at Canterbury Christ Church University, Smith is as smiley as ever. She has not remained in touch with Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, or Po. (Daily Mail)
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