Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has paid tribute to her former co-star Ben Unwin, who died last week at age 41.
“I just woke up to the tragic news of Ben’s passing, my heart goes out to his family,” 42-year-old Ada, who is currently on holiday in Greece, told Yahoo Lifestyle.
Ada worked closely with Ben during his time on Home and Away from 1996–2000 and then 2002–2005.
Her character Leah Patterson-Baker had a brief romance with Ben’s character Jesse McGregor on the popular TV soap.
Channel Seven also issued an official statement obtained by Yahoo Lifestyle.
“Cast and crew from Home and Away are saddened to learn of the passing of former castmate, Ben Unwin,” it read.
“Ben’s work in the role of Jesse McGregor is remembered with much affection. Ben’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.
“Former castmate Lynne McGranger, who plays Irene Roberts, described it as a ‘terrible tragedy’.
"Deepest condolences to his friends and family," she said.
Meanwhile Kimberley Cooper, who played Gypsy Smith on the show, took to Instagram on Tuesday afternoon to pay tribute to Ben.
“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 (sic),” 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.”
Ben passed away last week at age 41.
A NSW police statement to Yahoo Lifestyle said that on August 14: “Police attended Minyon Falls, Whian Whian, responding to a concern for welfare.
“The body of a 41-year-old man was located. The death has not been treated as suspicious.”
His performance landed him a Logie nomination in 1997 for the Most Popular New Talent category.
That same year he was also nominated for a British National Television award, again for his outstanding performance as a newcomer to the industry.
Ben reportedly had a career change after leaving the beloved show, studying law and working as a solicitor.
Fans share shock and devastation
There has been an outpouring of shock and grief from fans online after the tragic news broke.
Across social media people shared messages and tributes for the actor.
“That’s very sad. [He] used to be a fave back in the day. Tragic news,” one fan wrote on Facebook.
“Oh wow. I met him years ago. He was such a nice guy,” another added.
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