Carrie Bickmore paid a touching tribute to the late Johnny Ruffo, broadcast live on Friday.
Bickmore, 42, interviewed Ruffo in August last year on The Project during his final television appearance, where he openly discussed his health issues at that time.
On his 2DayFM radio show, Bickmore paused to pay tribute to Ruffo, reflecting on his “amazing” and “inspiring” approach to life.
“I was lucky enough to know Johnny over the years and I really wanted to pay tribute to his incredible life,” she said.
“Johnny Ruffo’s bright light has shone on our screens and in our hearts, from his electric presence on X Factor, to the opening stages of iconic bands like One Direction and the Backstreet Boys, and won us over as Chris Harrington on Home and Away.”
She went on to say that Johnny brought a lot of joy to many people and his spirit lived on even as he battled his terminal cancer.
“His courage in the face of a terminal brain cancer diagnosis inspired us all. And it was the love for his family that kept his light burning.
“His vulnerability in sharing his fears of leaving his girlfriend and his incredible support, Tahnee Sims, broke our hearts. Johnny shared his journey with us, not out of sympathy but to light the way for others in the dark,” said Bickmore said.
Carrie Bickmore (pictured) paid a touching tribute to the late Johnny Ruffo, broadcast live on Friday. On his 2DayFM radio show, Bickmore paused to pay tribute to Ruffo, reflecting on his “amazing” and “inspiring” approach to life.
“Johnny Ruffo’s bright light has shone on our screens and in our hearts, from his electric presence on X Factor, to the opening stages of iconic bands like One Direction and the Backstreet Boys, and won us over as Chris Harrington on Home and Away.” Pictured: Johnny Rufo
The podcaster also encouraged her listeners to delve into Ruffo’s memoir, describing it as a “message of hope” and particularly poignant for those in need of inspiration.
“Her book, No Finish Line, is not just a memoir, it is a message of hope and a call to live fully. Johnny once said he was already winning – and he was right,” she added.
“Johnny Ruffo, your legacy will continue to inspire us. May you rest in peace, knowing that even at just 35 years old, you left this world better than you found it,” Carrie concluded her tribute.
The heartbreaking news of Ruffo’s death was announced on his Instagram page on Friday.
“It is with heavy hearts that we had to say goodbye today to our beloved Johnny,” we read in a press release.
Home and Away star Johnny Ruffo has died aged 35 after a long battle with brain cancer. The heartbreaking news was announced on his Instagram page on Friday.
“Surrounded by his partner Tahnee and his family, Johnny left peacefully with the support of incredible nurses and doctors.
“He was a very talented, charming and sometimes cheeky boy. Johnny was very determined and had a strong will. He fought until 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 we will remember you for all the joy you brought to our lives. Rest easy.
Timeline of Johnny Ruffo’s life before his death at age 35
1988 – Ruffo was born in Perth to parents Jill and Pascoe
2011 – The singer’s career took off on X Factor Australia, where he placed third
2012 – Ruffo wins Dancing with the Stars. He also released his first single “On Top”
2013 – Ruffo’s acting career began, appearing on Channel Seven’s Home and Away as Chris Harrington.
2015 – The singer meets his partner Tahnee Sims
2017 – Ruffo first diagnosed with brain cancer after being hospitalized for painful migraines
2019 – He reveals that his cancer is in remission
2020 – Ruffo’s cancer returns
2022 – Actor confirms his cancer is terminal
2023 – Ruffo dies of brain cancer with Tahnee and his family by his side
Ruffo was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 after being hospitalized for painful migraines.
In August that year, he had emergency surgery and a 7cm brain tumor was surgically removed from his frontal lobe, before undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Ruffo went into remission months after his initial diagnosis in 2017, but revealed in November 2020 that the disease had returned.
In August 2022, he confirmed his brain cancer diagnosis was terminal and said he feared how his girlfriend Tahnee would fare once he was gone.
Ruffo marked another year of chemotherapy in December 2022 and revealed he was looking forward to taking a break and spending time with family over Christmas.
The actor put on a brave face, smiling and giving a thumbs up while sitting in a chair.
“Back in my favorite chair,” he wrote sarcastically alongside the hashtags #ihatethischair and #f**kcancer.
In March of this year, Ruffo began another round of chemotherapy and posted a photo of himself undergoing the treatment in hospital with his Tahnee by his side.
The actor underwent several rounds of treatment before losing his battle with the disease on Friday.
Born in the Perth suburb of Balcatta, Ruffo’s career in show business began when he successfully auditioned for the third season of The X Factor Australia in 2011.
After being mentored by Guy Sebastian, Ruffo was the last contestant eliminated from the competition, which was ultimately won by Reece Mastin.
A music career followed, with Ruffo releasing several hit singles, including On Top and Take It Home.
But he is perhaps best known for playing fan favorite Chris Harrington on Home and Away between 2013 and 2016.
He also appeared in this show’s rival soap opera, Neighbors, in 2020.