- Publish Date
- Friday, 10 November 2023, 4:52PM
Aussie singer and actor Johnny Ruffo has died aged 35 after a long battle with brain cancer.
The Home and Away star’s heartbroken family took to social media to announce the news of his death today.
“It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny,” they wrote in a statement posted on Ruffo’s official Instagram account.
“Surrounded by his partner Tahnee and family, Johnny went peacefully with the support of some incredible Nurses & Doctors.
“He was a very talented, charming and sometimes cheeky boy. Johnny was very determined and had a strong will. He battled all the way to the end and fought as hard as he could. Such a beautiful soul with so much more to give.
“We all love you Johnny and will remember you for all the joy you brought to our lives.”
Ruffo, who was born in Perth in Western Australia, catapulted to fame after featuring on the 2011 season of The X Factor, in which he placed third.
He went on to scoop a part in Channel 7 soap series Home and Away in 2013, playing Chris Harrington. He left the show three years later.
Ruffo got candid about his health battle in August 2017, revealing he had undergone surgery to remove a tumour in his brain. A week later, he announced that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer and would be starting aggressive treatment.
In 2019, Ruffo gave his fans some positive news, announcing he had been fully cleared of the cancer. The star then went on to release his first song in four years, which he named Broken Glass.
However, in November 2020, he was told his cancer was back.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to let you know I now have another huge battle ahead of me as my brain cancer has returned, though I will dig deep and beat this s*** disease again #f*ckcancer,” Ruffo wrote on Instagram at the time.
In August last year, while speaking to The Project’s host at the time, Carrie Bickmore, Ruffo delivered a heartbreaking update in his health battle: his cancer was terminal.
“At some point it will get me, but I’m still fighting, still kicking on,” he said.
“Looking up my diagnosis and my tumour, the average life expectancy was three years. And for me it’s now been five years. I’m already winning. My goal now is to try and help as many people as I can and also live a happy life.”
At the time, Ruffo was promoting his new memoir, No Finish Line, which shed light on his gruelling battle with cancer.
He had since kept out of the limelight, last sharing a health update with his 26,000 Instagram followers in July as he was continuing with his treatment.
Ruffo’s long-term girlfriend, Tahnee Sims, called the late actor a “fighter” in a clip posted to her Instagram account in August, marking six years since Ruffo had been diagnosed with the disease.
Thousands of people have flooded the comments section of his family’s Instagram post to express their sadness over his death.
Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who was a judge on Ruffo’s season of The X Factor, simply wrote, “My heart just broke.”
Comedian David Hughes wrote, “A star has moved to the next world. Go well Johnny.”
“Oh darling boy,” TV presenter Kylie Gillies said. “Sending love to all who knew you and loved you. And there are so many.”
Radio host Ryan Fitzgerald wrote, “Shattered. An absolute beacon of positivity. Johnny walked into any room and put a smile on everybody’s face.”
Aussie singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte shared, “Oh my. What an incredible human. Sending so much love.”
- Written by the NZ Herald and republished here with permisson
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