Johnny Ruffo, a former Home and Away actor and X Factor contestant, has died at age 35 following a long battle with a rare brain cancer. He passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family and partner Tahnee Sims, according to a statement shared on his Instagram account on Friday.
Who is Johnny Ruffo?
Johnny Ruffo was born in Perth in 1988. He started his career as a singer and songwriter, performing in various bands and venues. He rose to fame after participating in the third season of The X Factor Australia in 2011, where he finished as the runner-up. He impressed the judges and the audience with his charisma, talent and versatility, covering songs from genres such as pop, rock, rap and soul.
The News of His Death at Age 35
- Battle with Brain Cancer Ruffo was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, after experiencing severe headaches and seizures. He underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove a 7cm tumour from his brain, and later received chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He announced that he was in remission in 2019, but the cancer returned in 2020. He revealed that his diagnosis was terminal in August 2022, and continued to fight the disease with courage and optimism. He died on November 10, 2023, at a hospital in Sydney.
The Legacy He Leaves Behind
- Australian Singer & Actor Ruffo was not only a successful singer, but also a talented actor. He made his acting debut in 2013, playing Chris Harrington on the popular Australian soap opera Home and Away. He portrayed a charming and cheeky character, who had several romantic relationships and friendships in Summer Bay. He left the show in 2016, after appearing in more than 250 episodes. He was nominated for the Most Popular New Talent award at the 2014 Logie Awards for his performance.
- Finalist on The X Factor Australia Ruffo was one of the most memorable contestants on The X Factor Australia. He was mentored by Guy Sebastian, who praised him for his work ethic, personality and stage presence. He performed songs by artists such as Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Usher and Eminem, showcasing his vocal and dancing skills. He also collaborated with Sebastian on a duet called “Turn It Up”, which was released as his debut single in 2012. He reached the final of the competition, where he came second to Reece Mastin.
- Recording Contract with Sony Music Australia Ruffo signed a recording contract with Sony Music Australia after his success on The X Factor. He released his second single, “On Top”, in 2012, which peaked at number 14 on the Australian charts. He also released an EP, Untouchable, in 2013, which featured four original songs and a cover of “Mambo No. 5”. He toured with One Direction, New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, and performed at various events and festivals. He was working on his debut album before his cancer diagnosis.
Reactions & Tributes from Fans and the Entertainment Industry
Ruffo’s death has sparked an outpouring of grief and condolences from his fans and fellow celebrities. His former Home and Away co-stars, such as Lynne McGranger, Ada Nicodemou, Georgie Parker and James Stewart, expressed their sadness and admiration for him on social media. His X Factor mentor, Guy Sebastian, also paid tribute to him, calling him a “beautiful soul” and a “fighter”. His partner, Tahnee Sims, thanked everyone for their support and love, and said that Ruffo was her “best friend” and “soulmate”. Many fans shared their memories and appreciation for Ruffo’s music and acting, and praised him for his bravery and positivity.
Johnny Ruffo was a beloved and talented Australian singer and actor, who touched many lives with his music and acting. He was also a courageous and inspiring person, who battled brain cancer with dignity and hope. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, fans and the entertainment industry. He leaves behind a legacy of joy, charm and talent. Rest in peace, Johnny Ruffo.