A former Home and Away actress has left a touching tribute to Ben Unwin after news of her late co-star's death surfaced on Tuesday.
Kimberley Cooper, who played Ben's on-screen love interest Gypsy Nash in the late 90s, took to Instagram to share an image of the pair together on the cover of TV WEEK magazine.
"My first TV WEEK cover was with you. We had years of laughter, be it giggles on set trying to get through scenes as lovers or doubled over belly laughs at the pubs after work," she wrote.
"I will be sad for now, but I promise to tell stories of great joy about our times together. You forever hold a special place in my heart. Love you Onion."
Marni Little, who was once married to former Home and Away star Dan Ewing, offered words of support.
"I'm so sorry Kim, this is heartbreaking x"
Lynne McGranger, who has played Irene on the soap for more than two decades, commented on the post, writing "So sad."
According to The Daily Telegraph, she also said of the news: "What a terrible tragedy. Sending my deepest condolences to his family and friends."
Tempany Deckert, who played Selina, another love interest of Ben's character Jesse, tweeted: "RIP Ben".
Actor Nick Hardcastle, who played Tim O'Connell from 1997 to 1998, reacted to the news on Facebook.
"I haven't seen you in a while but we shared a very important time in both our lives and stayed in touch. This is very upsetting. I'm really sorry to hear this. RIP Ben," he wrote alongside a link to a news article about Ben's death.
In a statement, Channel Seven said: "The cast and crew of Home and Away are saddened to hear the passing of Ben Unwin. Ben played the character Jesse McGregor and joined the cast in 1996 - 2000, returning to Summer Bay in 2002 - 2005. We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ben."
Meanwhile, another of Ben's former co-stars, Ada Nicodemou, has paid tribute to the actor.
"I just woke up to the tragic news of Ben's passing, my heart goes out to his family," Ada told Yahoo Lifestyle.
It's understood Ben died last week.
In a statement, NSW Police said they were called to Minyon Galls in the Whian Whian State Conservation area, near Byron Bay, after locals "responded to a concern for welfare".
"The body of a 41-year-old man was located. The death has not been treated as suspicious," police said in a statement.
Ben famously played Jesse McGregor on the Channel Seven soap opera from 1996–2000 and then 2002–2005.
He was nominated for Most Popular New Talent at the Logie Awards 1997 for his performance on the show and was also nominated for a British National Television Award during that same year.
After leaving acting, he completed a law degree and was working as a solicitor in Sydney.
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