Home and Away star Johnny Ruffo fought hard until the end before he died at the age of 35 on Friday, following a long battle with brain cancer.
The singer lost his fight at a Sydney hospital with his family and partner Tahnee Simms by his side.
Before a family member updated his Instagram account with news of his death, his last Instagram post was a heartbreaking joint video with partner Tahnee Sims, which was posted at the start of August.
Tahnee, 29, commended his resilience, writing ‘6 years on from diagnosis. What a fighter!’
The poignant video began with photos of Ruffo receiving stitches on his head, followed glimpses into his cancer treatments, interspersed with adorable snapshots of the couple together.
Before a family member updated his Instagram account with news of his death, Johnny Ruffo’s last post was a heartbreaking joint video with partner Tahnee Sims, which was posted at the start of August
At the time, Johnny’s Instagram tribute received an outpouring of supportive comments from his former co-stars on Home and Away, as well as other celebrities.
‘Love you both. Always in my prayers,’ Home and Away’s Lynne McGranger commented, while Ada Nicodemou remarked ‘Such a fighter.’
Former Bachelor star Anna Heinrich commented with love heart emojis as did co-host of The Morning Show, Kylie Gillies. “Couldn’t be prouder of my man,” radio host Wippa added.
In a heartbreaking Instagram post back in July, Ruffo spoke about the reality of battling terminal cancer.
He posted a photo of himself reclining in a hospital chair undergoing what appeared to be chemotherapy.
‘Back to reality,’ he wrote in the caption.
That same month, he and Tahnee enjoyed a romantic trip to Queenstown in New Zealand.
The couple stayed in a luxury lodging and took in the stunning sights and enjoyed a thrilling helicopter ride during the winter getaway, which would be the last before Ruffo’s tragic passing.
The heartbreaking news of Ruffo’s death was announced on his Instagram page on Friday.
‘It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny,’ a statement read.
‘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. Rest easy.’
Ruffo was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 after he went to hospital with painful migraines.
In August that year, he was rushed to surgery and had a 7cm brain tumour surgically removed from his frontal lobe, before undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The former X Factor star went on to praise his partner Tahnee and referred to her as his ‘guardian angel’ and said he doesn’t know what he would do without her.
Ruffo went into remission months after his initial diagnosis in 2017, but revealed in November 2020 the disease had returned.
In August 2022, he confirmed his brain cancer diagnosis was terminal and said he feared how his girlfriend Tahnee would cope once he is gone.
Ruffo marked another year of undergoing chemotherapy in December 2022, and revealed he was looking forward to having a break and spending time with family over Christmas.
The actor put on a brave face, smiling and giving the thumbs up while he sat in a chair.
‘Back in my favourite chair,’ he wrote sarcastically alongside the hashtags #ihatethischair and #f**kcancer.
In March this year, Ruffo started another round of chemotherapy and posted a photo of himself undergoing the treatment in hospital with his girlfriend Tahnee by his side.
Born in the Perth suburb of Balcatta, Ruffo’s showbusiness career began when he successfully auditioned for the third season of The X Factor Australia in 2011.
After being mentored by Guy Sebastian, Ruffo was the last contestant eliminated in 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 starring as fan favourite Chris Harrington on Home and Away between 2013 and 2016.
He also appeared on that show’s soap rival Neighbours in 2020.