Australian singer-actor Johnny Ruffo dies of brain cancer aged 35

He shot to fame with the reality show The X Factor Australia in 2011 and gained prominence for acting in the popular soap opera Home and Away from 2013 to 2016

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Published: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 4:07 PM

Australian singer-actor Johnny Ruffo died on Friday, after a year-long battle with brain cancer. The 35-year-old star shot to fame with the reality show The X Factor Australia in 2011 where he finished third. The very next year, he won the 12th season of the celebrity dance show Dancing with the Stars Australia. He also gained prominence for acting in the popular soap opera Home and Away from 2013 to 2016.

Ruffo was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 at the age of 28. As per BBC, he underwent rigorous treatment for two years and entered remission. However, his cancer returned in 2020. In August 2022, Ruffo announced that his cancer was terminal. The same year, he released his memoir titled No Finish Line.

Ruffo’s death was announced on his Instagram account.

Commenting on this post, a fan wrote, “Oh my goodness this is so heartbreaking I am so sorry to hear this. What an incredible man he is. He gave me such incredible advice at the start of my career and I was always amazed at his work ethic. He really inspired me to keep going, what a legend! RIP Johnny thanks for all the joy you brought to this world for others.”

In an interview on Network 10, last August, Ruffo spoke about his cancer treatment and showed an optimistic outlook towards life.

He said, “Looking up my diagnosis and my tumour, the average life expectancy was three years. For me, it has now been five years, so I'm already winning. At some point, it is going to get me. My goal now is to try and help as many people as I can."

On August 7, the last post on his official Instagram account was uploaded by star's long-term girlfriend, Tahnee Sims. The post carried a video montage of Ruffo's lengthy battle with the disease.

“6 years on from diagnosis. What a fighter!!” read the caption to the video.

In the clip, Ruffo was seen going in and out of the hospital for chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Despite his battle with a deadly disease, he shared many smiles and thumbs-ups for the camera.

Ruffo contributed to many fundraising and awareness campaigns about brain cancer.

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