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Home and Away’s Lynne McGranger shares emotional tribute to ‘warrior’ Johnny Ruffo after his death aged 35 from cancer: ‘Fly free from the pain’

Home and Away’s Lynne McGranger has shared an emotional tribute to her former co-star Johnny Ruffo following his death at the age of 35 from cancer.

The 70-year-old actress shared a throwback photo of herself cuddling Johnny on a couch and called the late singer a “warrior.”

“He was our friend and we loved him,” she began the heartfelt Instagram post.

“But more than that, he was a beloved son to Jill, a soulmate to his darling Tahnee, a brother to Michael, a nephew and a precious grandson to his dearest Nonna.”

She continued: “He fought like a warrior and was brave and brutal to the end. Talented, funny, loyal and mischievous – we love you, my friend. Fly high, free from pain. You’re missed.’

Home and Away's Lynne McGranger has shared an emotional tribute to her former co-star Johnny Ruffo following his death at the age of 35 from cancer, calling him a 'warrior'

Home and Away’s Lynne McGranger has shared an emotional tribute to her former co-star Johnny Ruffo following his death at the age of 35 from cancer, calling him a ‘warrior’

Ruffo died on Friday after a long battle with cancer

Ruffo died on Friday after a long battle with cancer

Ruffo died on Friday after a long battle with cancer

Ruffo died in a Sydney hospital with his family and partner Tahnee Sims by his side.

And McGranger isn’t the only Home and Away star to pay tribute to the former X Factor finalist.

Stars of the long-running soap and several other Australian celebrities honored the “incredibly kind and courageous” actor in heartfelt statements alongside an Instagram post announcing his death.

Harley Bonner, who played Logan Bennet on the show in 2021 and 2022, wrote, “Love you and your loved ones, buddy.”

David Jones-Roberts, who appeared alongside Ruffo as Xavier Austin, added: “RIP brother. Lots of love.’

Johnny's Home and Away co-stars shared tributes to the actor following his death

Johnny's Home and Away co-stars shared tributes to the actor following his death

Johnny’s Home and Away co-stars shared tributes to the actor following his death

Fellow longtime co-star Lisa Gormley said Ruffo brought joy to the set of the Aussie soap.

‘Heartbreaking. I love you, Johnny. Thank you for your joy,” she wrote.

Sarah Roberts, who appeared in Home and Away after Johnny left the drama, wrote: ‘So terribly sad. My heart is absolutely broken. Life just isn’t fair. Johnny, you continue to be an inspiration to us all. Sending all my love to Johnny’s family, dear friends and beautiful Tahnee.”

Singing sensation and former Neighbors star Natalie Bassingthwaighte added: “Oh my. What an incredible person. Sending so much love.”

Soap actor Holly Brisley said: ‘I’m very sorry to read this. My deepest condolences. He was a good one! Definitely gone too soon.’

Meanwhile, former bachelor Georgia Love sent her love to his partner Taheee and his family.

‘I’m so very sad to hear this. Huge love to Tahnee and Johnny’s family,” she wrote.

Kylie Gillies, co-host of The Morning Show, added: “Oh sweet boy. Sending love to everyone who knew and loved you. And there are so many.’

Gogglebox star Angie Kent said: ‘Oh this is such heartbreaking news to hear. What a beautiful soul who showed so much strength until the end. So much love for his family, partner and friends. Rest now, dear man.’

The Bachelor star Alex Nation said: “Absolutely heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. Condolences to Johnny’s loved ones.”

Meanwhile, PR queen Roxy Jacenko, who was battling breast cancer, noted Ruffo’s long and hard battle with the disease.

‘Heartbreaking. Sending love and thoughts. You fought so hard, honey,” she said.

1699587297 469 Johnny Ruffos Home and Away co stars pay an emotional tribute

1699587297 469 Johnny Ruffos Home and Away co stars pay an emotional tribute

1699587299 83 Johnny Ruffos Home and Away co stars pay an emotional tribute

1699587299 83 Johnny Ruffos Home and Away co stars pay an emotional tribute

Stars of the long-running soap and several other Australian celebrities honored the

Stars of the long-running soap and several other Australian celebrities honored the

Stars of the long-running soap and several other Australian celebrities honored the “incredibly kind and courageous” actor in heartfelt statements alongside an Instagram post announcing his death

Former NRL star Luke Burgess said: “This is incredibly sad. What an incredible person. Sending all my love to Tahnee and Johnny’s family. My heart is with you.’

Luke’s brother George also left a tribute, writing: ‘Rest in peace. Always positive during his illness and an inspiration to others who are suffering. Such a terrible loss, thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Real Housewives of Sydney star Sally Obermeder said: “My heart is broken. We loved you so much. I’m thinking of your family and everyone who loved you.”

Elsewhere, entertainer Rhonda Burchmore wrote: “This breaks my heart,” while singer Ricki-Lee Coulter echoed the sentiment with a series of broken heart emojis.

Ruffo was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 after going to hospital with painful migraines.  Pictured with partner Tahnee

Ruffo was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 after going to hospital with painful migraines.  Pictured with partner Tahnee

Ruffo was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 after going to hospital with painful migraines. Pictured with partner Tahnee

Nova FM star Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald said he was ‘shattered’ by the loss of Johnny, who was ‘an absolute beacon of positivity’.

Comedian Dave Hughes added: ‘A star has moved on to the next world. Good luck Johnny.”

Chronology of Johnny Ruffo’s life before his death at age 35

1988 – Ruffo was born in Perth to parents Jill and Pascoe

2011 – Singer’s career starts at X Factor Australia, where he came third

2012 – Ruffo wins Dancing With The Stars. He also releases his debut single ‘On Top’

2013 – Ruffo’s acting career begins, appearing on Channel Seven’s Home and Away as Chris Harrington

2015 – Singer meets his partner Tahnee Sims

2017 – Ruffo is diagnosed with brain cancer for the first time after going to hospital with painful migraines

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2019 – He reveals that his cancer is in remission

2020 – Ruffo’s cancer returns

2022 – The actor confirms that his cancer is terminal

2023 – Ruffo dies of brain cancer with Tahnee and his family by his side

Meanwhile, AFL star Abbey Holmes wrote: ‘Oh Johnny. Our hearts break. Sending so much love to friends and family. You certainly put up a great fight! Rest in peace.’

Ruffo was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 after going to hospital with painful migraines.

In August that year, he underwent emergency surgery and had a 7cm brain tumor surgically removed from his frontal lobe before undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Ruffo went into remission months after his initial diagnosis in 2017, but revealed in November 2020 that the disease had returned.

In August 2022, he confirmed that his brain cancer diagnosis was terminal and said he feared how his girlfriend Tahnee would cope with him being gone.

Ruffo marked another year of chemotherapy in December 2022 and said he was looking forward to taking a break and spending time with family over Christmas.

The actor put on a brave face, smiled and gave a thumbs up while sitting in a chair.

“Back in my favorite chair,” he wrote sarcastically alongside the hashtags #ihatethischair and #f**kcancer.

In March this year, Ruffo began another round of chemotherapy and posted a photo of himself undergoing the treatment in hospital, with his girlfriend Tahnee by his side.

The actor underwent several rounds of treatment before losing his battle against the disease on Friday.

Born in the Perth suburb of Balcatta, Ruffo’s show business career began when he successfully auditioned for the third season of The X Factor Australia in 2011.

Ruffo passed away peacefully with his family and beloved partner Tahnee Sims by his side

Ruffo passed away peacefully with his family and beloved partner Tahnee Sims by his side

Ruffo passed away peacefully with his family and beloved partner Tahnee Sims by his side

After being mentored by Guy Sebastian, Ruffo was the last contestant eliminated from the competition, which was ultimately won by Reece Mastin.

A music career followed, with Ruffo releasing several hit singles, including On Top and Take It Home.

But he is perhaps best known for his role as fan favorite Chris Harrington on Home and Away between 2013 and 2016.

He also appeared in soap rival Neighbors in 2020.

Ruffo won fans during his appearance as a finalist on The X-Factor Australia in 2011

Ruffo won fans during his appearance as a finalist on The X-Factor Australia in 2011

Ruffo won fans during his appearance as a finalist on The X-Factor Australia in 2011

The actor is best known for playing Chris Harrington on the Seven Soap from 2013 to 2016

The actor is best known for playing Chris Harrington on the Seven Soap from 2013 to 2016

The actor is best known for playing Chris Harrington on the Seven Soap from 2013 to 2016

Earlier this year, Ruffo posted a photo of himself being treated at the hospital, with Tahnee by his side

Earlier this year, Ruffo posted a photo of himself being treated at the hospital, with Tahnee by his side

Earlier this year, Ruffo posted a photo of himself being treated at the hospital, with Tahnee by his side

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