It didn’t take long for Home and Away legend Ray Meagher to tear up on Tuesday’s episode of This Is Your Life.
The star broke down during the very first tribute, given by his former co-star Chris Hemsworth.
In a pre-recorded message for Ray, the Hollywood star gushed about the first time he met the Aussie icon.
“Ray Meagher, godfather of Australian television, Australian icon, a flaming legend, my hero. Mate, what can I say?” he began.
“I remember very vividly the first time I walked onto a Home and Away set, the first time I met you. I was teaming with excitement and nerves — mostly about meeting you, the man, the myth, the legend.
“The moment arrived. I remember the doors busting open, and there you were down the end of the hallway, silhouetted by the sun, bathed in glorious light.
“We locked eyes, we got closer. I took a big deep breath and I thought, ‘He’s probably not a hugger’. I lifted my hand…and dived off into the costume department because I had lost my nerve.”
The audience chuckled at the Thor star’s hilarious recollection, but his next admission left Ray fighting back tears.
“Sure enough, you came up to me and you said, ‘Chris, wonderful to meet you. You’re gonna do great here’. You were kind, genuine and supportive, and you’ve remained that through my entire career. Thank you so much buddy, I love you. You’re a dear friend.”
However, the next guest to appear made Ray even more emotional.
Kate Ritchie, who played Sally Fletcher for 20 years, walked onto the This Is Your Life set to surprise her former co-star.
The pair watched a set of Home and Away scenes from 1990-2008, finishing with their on-screen goodbye at Palm Beach.
“Ray is really so much of what I learned as a person, but also as a performer,” she began, before grabbing Ray’s hand.
“And for both of us, we’ve played those characters for such a long time, that it is inevitable there is so much of us within them.
“When I watch that footage…I actually see two friends. He’s watched me grow from a girl into a woman, and he’s really proud of me. So I’m glad I’ve made you proud, thank you."
The Aussie icon told his former co-star that he’s still proud of her to this day, and his words ‘still stand’.
“You mean a lot to me Ray, you know that,” Kate added, causing Ray to wipe his tears away with a tissue.
Ray has played Alf Stewart since 1988 and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-serving actor in an Australian series.
It was obvious how much of an impact the actor has had in the Australian entertainment industry, with stars such as Julian McMahon, Danni Minogue, Bec Hewitt and Georgie Parker sharing tributes on the show.
He’s a firm fan-favourite, with many viewers saying they were in tears during the episode.
“So emotional, tears are flowing. Congratulations Ray!! What a fantastic life!! You’re a wonderful man and a great actor,” one wrote on social media.
“Crying happy tears. It was so lovely to see Ray (Alf) get recognised like this. ‘Stone the crow’ as he would say. I hope he keeps going on the show,” a second added.
“Oh the memories, characters of the past. Ray [is] such a humble man, thanking so many for being there on an evening that he deserves every accolade. I cried happy tears in the opening five mins!” another chimed in.
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