Beloved Australian actor and singer Johnny Ruffo sadly passed away, aged 35, on November 10, 2023 following a long fight with brain cancer.
Weeks after his death, a video was released featuring, presumably one of Johnny's final performance. The late actor performed Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) with the children from the Starlight Foundation and singer Budjerah in late September.
In the video, shared by the Amazon Playmakers, Johnny was all smiles as he played the toy xylophone. His family reportedly gave their permission to share the video in order to raise money for the Starlight Foundation.
Watch the video below. The article continues after the video.
On November 25, 2023, a memorial service was held at the Balcatta Senior High School in Western Australia, in tribute to Johnny, born March 8, 1988.
Lynne McGranger, his former Home and Away co-star spoke at his memorial. In the hours following, she shared a touching tribute to her departed friend.
"Said "goodbye for now" to this magnificent human today. So many emotions, so much love , so blessed to be included in his huge and crazy family. So many people came to say goodbye, so many more couldn't get here. We cried and laughed and danced and sang and ate and drank and hugged and cried and …. - exactly how he would have wanted it. Fly high my friend , I hope you know how much you're loved," she wrote.
Meanwhile, his partner Tahnee Sims shared her eulogy to Instagram, with the caption: "Until we meet again."
"Contrary to most kids who were raised on Disney movies, I was never a huge fan of fair tales that focused on couples living 'happily ever after'," she began.
"To be clear - it's not that I didn't want them to end up together. I just wasn't that into the idea of love in general. But then I met John at the age of 19 and discovered that maybe I was into love. As two people who were both fiercely independent, focused on our own careers and a bit in denial that we were clearly meant for each other - we used to joked that we should have met later in life.
"But on August 7th, 2017, four years after we first met - it all became very clear why the universe had brought us together so young. There wasn't going to be a 'later life' for John. There was, however, going to be a better 'early life' than either of us could ever have imagined.
"Knowing that each day really could be our later together: we held our hugs a little longer; gave forgiveness a whole lot faster; took the bucket list trips; never went a day without laughter; prioritised spending time with family and friends; ended every single goodbye with an 'I love you'; made sure to always find joy in even the most mundane moments; and most importantly - we acknowledged how lucky we were to share such a deep connection and love for one another.
"I know that not everyone gets to experience that kind of love, which is why I will always be forever grateful for the happily ever after I got to have with John - albeit for only 10 years," she concluded.
To announce Johnny's heartbreaking death, a statement was shared to his personal Instagram page.
"It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny," the 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," they continued. "Rest easy ❤️"
His friends took to the comment section, sharing their grief.
Home & Away alum Penny McNamee shared a beautiful tribute.
"Oh Johnny. He was the first cast member I ever met on Home and Away and he was instantly warm, funny and self-deprecating. What joy he brought to the world. Sending all my love to Tahnee, and all Johnny's family and friends," she wrote.
Georgie Parker wrote: "Sending love to Johnnys family, friends and loved ones. He was truly one in a million, funny, bright and such a hard worker. It's ridiculously cruel that he's no longer here. Rest up now Johnny."
"So devastatingly sad. My heart is absolutely broken. Life just isn't fair. Johnny you will continue to be an inspiration to all of us. I'm sending all my love to Johnny's family, dear friends & beautiful Tahnee," Sarah Roberts wrote.
"This is so Sad. RIP great man. Lots of fun memories together," Brendan Fevola commented.
"Oh this is such heartbreaking news to hear. What a beautiful soul who showed so much strength all the way to the end. So much love to his family, partner and friends. Rest easy now sweet man," Angie Kent wrote.
Dannii Minogue wrote: "The cheekiest chap. His voice, smile and dancing feet will be missed by so many. Thinking of his family in this heart breaking time."
Ada Nicodemou shared a flashback photo with the caption: "Fair well our beautiful friend, fly free and rest in peace. We will always remember your energy and your massive heart, and of course the dance moves."
Ten days following the announcement, Tahnee took to Instagram to share her own tribute, featuring their best memories.
"A forever love," she captioned the video (above).
Lynne McGranger commented on the post: "Darling…. I can't imagine what you are going through. In our thoughts and prayers. Cannot wait to give you the biggest hug . We all loved Johnny so much but he was your honey and your soul mate and we ache for you."
In August 2023, Johnny marked six years since his diagnosis with cancer.
In 2017, Johnny was diagnosed with brain cancer, just a year after departing Home and Away. While he announced he was all-clear of the disease in 2019, it devastatingly returned a year later.