Johnny Ruffo, an Australian television star and singer, has died at age 35 from brain cancer, the BBC reports. He died Nov. 3 surrounded by loved ones, his family said in a statement on his Instagram page.
“He battled all the way to the end and fought as hard as he could,” it read. “Such a beautiful soul with so much more to give.”
Ruffo’s fame grew thanks to reality show X Factor Australia before he joined soap Home and Away.
He was an active fundraiser after his diagnosis in 2017, helping to increase awareness about brain cancer in Australia.
Former X Factor host and Spice Girl Mel B was among those who sent condolences to his family.
Dannii Minogue wrote on Instagram: “The cheekiest chap. His voice, smile and dancing feet will be missed by so many.”
Ruffo was born in Perth in Western Australia. He joined the X Factor cast in the third season in 2011.
He went on to release several singles, win a season of Australia’s Dancing with the Stars, and starred as Chris Harrington on Home and Away for three years.
Ruffo was diagnosed in 2017, and after two years of treatment, he entered remission. But his cancer returned in 2020.
Survivors include his partner, Tahnee Sims.