As Johnny Ruffo dies at 35, a look at his partner Tahnee Sims and his roles in Home & Away and Neighbours

Actor and singer Johnny Ruffo has died at the age of 35 after a battle with brain cancer, and passed away surrounded by his partner Tahnee Sims and family

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Australian actor and singer Johnny Ruffo has tragically died at the age of 35 after a battle with brain cancer and passed away with his partner Tahnee Sims by his side.  On his personal Instagram page, his family confirmed the news in a statement which read: “It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny. Surrounded by his partner, Tahnee and family, Johnny went peacefully with the support of some incredible Nurses & Doctors.”The statement ended with the words, “We all love you Johnny and will remember you for all the joy you brought to our lives.”

Johnny Ruffo had been with his partner Tahnee Sims for eight years and he passed away a week before her 30th birthday. The couple met at a dance studio and Johnny was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, only two years after they met. When Johnny Ruffo first suffered from a series of ongoing migraines, it was Tahnee who rushed him to hospital. He told Now To Love two years ago that “Without her I may not be here,” he said. “She was the one who made me get in the car (to go to hospital) when it (the headaches) first happened.”

On 7 August 2023, Tahnee Sims shared a video and wrote on her Instagram “6 years on from diagnosis what a fighter!” and tagged Johnny Ruffo. She was flooded with comments at the time, actor and singer Delta Goodrem said: “Both of you are a force and a huge inspiration!!!” Tahnee also shared a photograph of the two of them in July.

After Johnny Ruffo passed away, former Spice Girls member Mel B, who was a judge when Johnny appeared on X Factor Australia, wrote: “My heart just broke. Sending my sincere condolences.” Former Home & Away actor Dannii Minogue said: “His voice, smile and dancing feet will be missed by so many.”

When did Johnny Ruffo appear on X Factor Australia? 

Johnny Ruffo first rose to fame as a finalist on the third season of X Factor Australia in 2011. He came third in the competition; the winner was Reece Mastin, but thanks to X Factor, Johnny secured a deal with Sony and went on to support the likes of New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys and One Direction in 2012.

Johnny Ruffo’s music career

When it came to Johnny Ruffo’s music career, he took inspiration from the likes of Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Usher. His first single was ‘On Top,’ which went platinum, and his second single ‘Take It Home’ went gold and reached number 30. 

Johnny Ruffo on Home & Away and Neighbours

Johnny Ruffo joined the cast of Home & Away in 2013 and was originally meant to appear in 16 episodes, but due to his popularity, his contract was extended and he played the character of Chris Harrington until 2016. For his Home & Away role, Johnny was nominated for most popular new talent at the 2014 Logie awards.  In 2020, Johnny revealed that he had landed a guest role in Neighbours as Owen Campbell. 

Does Johnny Ruffo have a memoir?

Johnny Ruffo released his memoir ‘No Finish Line’ in August 2022 when he announced his cancer was terminal. The synopsis for the book reads that Johnny Ruffo’s “sudden rise to fame took its toll. Johnny found it hard to resist the weekend-long parties, drugs, alcohol and fairweather friends that came with the territory. He had started suffering from severe headaches when his girlfriend, Tahnee, noticed something was also wrong with his speech. Johnny was rushed to hospital, where doctors prepped him for immediate surgery to deal with a 7-centimetre-long tumour. Johnny was ultimately diagnosed with a rare brain cancer, with which - despite a period of remission - he still battles today. But in a strange way Johnny thinks the cancer actually saved his life …”

The memoir can be found on eBay. Johnny Ruffo told The Western Australian in 2022  that when he found out about his brain cancer that “Everything was going so well for me and then it was like a bomb just hit me. This news of having a brain tumour crashed down on me and interrupted it all. I was really enjoying it all and felt like I was kicking goals, then everything came grinding to a halt. But I want to keep on going and pushing with my career. I have done so much already, I feel like, and I want to continue on that path.”

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