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Johnny Ruffo dies aged 35 after lengthy cancer battle

"It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny."

Johnny Ruffo has passed away at the age of 35, his family confirmed in a statement shared to the singer and actor's Instagram account on Friday.

"It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny," the statement reads.

Johnny Ruffo
Johnny Ruffo has passed away at the age of 35 following a lengthy battle with cancer, his family has confirmed. Photo: Getty

"Surrounded by his partner Tahnee and family, Johnny went peacefully with the support of some incredible Nurses & Doctors.

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"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."

They finished by writing, "We all love you Johnny and will remember you for all the joy you brought to our lives. Rest easy."

Johnny Ruffo in hospital
Johnny first revealed his health struggles in August 2017, when the former Home and Away star underwent surgery for a brain tumour. Photo: Instagram/johnny_ruffo

Countless Aussie celebrities have shared their heartbreak following the shock loss, with Ryan 'Fitzy' Fitzgerald commenting, "Shattered. An absolute beacon of positivity. Johnny walked into any room and put a smile on everybody’s face. Gonna miss ya brother, watch over us."

"Oh this is such heartbreaking news to hear," Angie Kent said. "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."

"Oh darling boy," Kylie Gillies added. "Sending love to all who knew and loved you. And there are so many."

"The cheekiest chap. His voice, smile and dancing feet will be missed by so many," Dannii Minogue wrote. "Thinking of his family in this heartbreaking time."

Johnny shot to fame on the 2011 season of The X Factor and went on to have a successful music and acting career.

Johnny Ruffo on Home and Away
Johnny played Chris Harrington on Home and Away from 2013 to 2016. Photo: Channel Seven

He first revealed his health struggles in August 2017, when the former Home and Away star underwent surgery for a brain tumour. Following the surgery, he was diagnosed with brain cancer and started treatment.

Johnny was declared cancer-free in 2019. Sadly, his cancer returned, and the young actor revealed it was terminal in August 2022.

The singer's girlfriend Tahnee Sims recently shared a video to mark six years since Johnny was first diagnosed with cancer, praising him for being a “fighter”.

Johnny with his girlfriend Tahnee Sims. Photo: Instagram/johnny_ruffo
Johnny with his girlfriend Tahnee Sims. Photo: Instagram/johnny_ruffo

In the moving video, Tahnee documented Johnny's cancer journey, opening the video with the star getting stitches in his head and then giving fans a glimpse into his cancer treatments, as well as cute snaps of the couple together.

Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle in November 2022, Johnny shared that despite his cancer being terminal, he wasn't ready to give up his fight.

“I’m still doing chemotherapy and still battling along, just one foot in front of the other, one step at the time,” he told us. “It is a challenge,” he admitted before adding that he’s “so lucky” to have Tahnee by his side.

The X Factor star was conscious of the fact that his girlfriend was going through a tough journey herself. “I feel like she’s battling as much as I am, but also she has to put up with me,” he quipped. “Without her, it’d definitely be a lot harder.”

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