As the nation mourns the passing of beloved Home and Away star, Johnny Ruffo, his co-star Lynne McGranger has turned to social media to reflect on the profound loss and to pay tribute to her friend, describing him as someone who “fought like a warrior”.
Ruffo passed away at the age of 35 on Friday, November 10 after a long battle with brain cancer. The devastating news of his passing was announced via a statement on social media
“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.
McGranger and Ruffo met on the set of the hit Aussie drama Home and Away after Ruffo joined the cast in 2013, the pair quickly forming a strong bond.
Following Ruffo’s heartbreaking passing, McGranger reflected on her friendship with the 35-year-old star in a moving tribute on Instagram.
“He was our friend and we loved him. But more than that he was a beloved son to Jill, a soulmate to his darling Tahnee, a brother to Michael , a cousin, and a precious grandson to his dearest Nonna,” she wrote.
“He fought like a warrior and was brave and cheeky to the end. Talented, funny, loyal and naughty – we love you my friend. Fly high free from pain. You are missed.”
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Fans flooded McGranger’s post with love and support, sharing heartfelt messages that reflected their collective sense of loss over Ruffo.
“Such sad news sweetheart. Sending you love and hugs. I know what a great friendship you had. Huge sympathy to all his nearest and dearest,” one person wrote.
“Oh Lynnie, I thought of you as soon as I heard the news. Lots of love to you xxxx.”
“You were a great friend Lynne. And you have written the most beautiful words to those who loved him hardest. Thinking of you all,” commented another.
“So sorry Lynn. I’m sure you were the best kind of friend xx.”
“Sending you, his family and friends, so much love & huge condolences: I know how close you were to the beautiful Johnny. Life is just so unfair.”
Ruffo was first diagnosed with brain cancer back in 2017 when what he believed to be a migraine turned out to be a very serious brain tumour.
Speaking with Who Magazine’s podcast Who Are You back in 2018, Ruffo recalled the terrifying ordeal, revealing that his girlfriend saved his life by rushing him to the hospital after he complained of a painful migraine.
Doctors initially told Sims to go home, believing Ruffo was simply experiencing a migraine.
But she woke to devastating news the next morning, as doctors revealed he had slipped into a coma due to a fist-sized tumour in his brain, which may have been growing for up to 10 years.
“The doctor said, ‘If you didn’t come in [to the hospital], you would have gone to sleep and you would have been dead’,” Ruffo said at the time.
“Basically [the tumour was] the size of my fist in my frontal lobe, so all that pressure was being put on my brain, which explains the severe headaches and blackouts.”
After successfully removing the tumour in 2017, Ruffo devastated fans when he penned a heartbreaking post announcing his brain cancer had returned in 2020.
Ruffo regularly kept fans updated with his health battle via social media, providing them with insights on his second bout with brain cancer.