Johnny Ruffo’s final kind act: Home and Away star’s last performance in Christmas charity campaign surfaces weeks after his death aged 35

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Heartbreaking footage of Johnny Ruffo performing in a Christmas charity campaign has surfaced weeks after his death aged 35. 

The X Factor finalist, who died from terminal brain cancer in November, recently performed in Amazon Australia’s Christmas music video campaign to help raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. 

A clip of the performance shows the late Home and Away star performing a rendition of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) on the xylophone, alongside singer Budjerah and seven sick Starlight kids. 

According to The Daily Telegraph, the video was meant to be released on November 14 – days after Ruffo’s death – but it was pulled due to the tragedy.

However, Ruffo’s family and partner Tahnee Sims have since given permission for the video to be released. 

‘Being part of this campaign for so many years, you would think I wouldn’t be surprised by what these kids can do but they continue to surprise me with their creativity,’ Ruffo had said, according to the publication.

‘I was particularly excited to see the kids in action in the music video as being a singer myself, it was so incredible to see the joy it brought them.’

Amazon Australia pledged to donate $1 from every view of the video up to $100,000 to the charity for seriously ill children.

Heartbreaking footage of Johnny Ruffo performing in a Christmas charity campaign has surfaced weeks after his death aged 35. Ruffo pictured far right

Heartbreaking footage of Johnny Ruffo performing in a Christmas charity campaign has surfaced weeks after his death aged 35. Ruffo pictured far right

The X Factor finalist, who died from terminal brain cancer in November, recently performed in Amazon Australia's Christmas music video campaign to help raise money for the Starlight Children's Foundation

 The X Factor finalist, who died from terminal brain cancer in November, recently performed in Amazon Australia’s Christmas music video campaign to help raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation

Ruffo's family took to his personal Instagram on Monday to announce a memorial service for the Home and Away star will be held in Perth on November 25

Ruffo died on November 10 at a Sydney hospital, and the heartbreaking news was announced on his Instagram page

Ruffo died on November 10 at a Sydney hospital, and the heartbreaking news was announced on his Instagram page. 

‘It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny,’ a statement read.

‘Surrounded by his partner Tahnee and family, Johnny went peacefully with the support of some incredible nurses & doctors.’

The actor died peacefully with his family and beloved partner Tahnee Sims (left) by his side

The actor died peacefully with his family and beloved partner Tahnee Sims (left) by his side

‘He was a very talented, charming and sometimes cheeky boy. Johnny was very determined and had a strong will. He battled all the way to 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 will remember you for all the joy you brought to our lives. Rest easy.’

Ruffo was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 after he went to hospital with painful migraines.

The actor is best known for playing Chris Harrington on the Seven Soap from 2013 to 2016

The actor is best known for playing Chris Harrington on the Seven Soap from 2013 to 2016 (pictured)

He also appeared on soap rival Neighbours in 2020

He also appeared on soap rival Neighbours in 2020

Timeline of Johnny Ruffo’s life before his death aged 35

1988 – Ruffo was born in Perth to parents Jill and Pascoe

2011 – Singer’s career takes off on X Factor Australia, where he placed third

2012 – Ruffo wins Dancing With The Stars. He also releases his debut single ‘On Top’

2013 – Ruffo’s acting career begins, appearing on Channel Seven’s Home and Away as Chris Harrington

2015 – Singer meets his partner Tahnee Sims

2017 – Ruffo is first diagnosed with brain cancer after he went to hospital with painful migraines

2019 – He reveals his cancer is in remission

2020 – Ruffo’s cancer returns

2022 – The actor confirms his cancer is terminal 

2023 – Ruffo dies from brain cancer with Tahnee and his family by his side

In August that year, he was rushed to surgery and had a 7cm brain tumour 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 the disease had returned.

In August 2022, he confirmed his brain cancer diagnosis was terminal and said he feared how his girlfriend Tahnee would cope once he is gone.

Ruffo marked another year of undergoing chemotherapy in December 2022, and revealed he was looking forward to having a break and spending time with family over Christmas. 

The actor put on a brave face, smiling and giving the thumbs up while he sat in a chair.

‘Back in my favourite chair,’ he wrote sarcastically alongside the hashtags #ihatethischair and #f**kcancer.

In March this year, Ruffo started another round of chemotherapy and posted a photo of himself undergoing the treatment in hospital with his girlfriend Tahnee by his side.

Johnny spoke about his concerns about how Tahnee would cope after his death in a heartbreaking interview on The Project last year.

‘You can only imagine how difficult it’s been for her,’ he told then host Carrie Bickmore.

‘What plays in my head a lot is, I hate to say this, how hard it may be for her if something does happen to me.

‘So, it’s something that I don’t want to think about. It just gets me a little bit emotional about it because I know at some point something will happen, whether it’s, you know, a month from now or 10 years from now or 20 years.’

Ruffo won fans during his appearance as a finalist on The X-Factor Australia in 2011

Ruffo won fans during his appearance as a finalist on The X-Factor Australia in 2011

Ruffo also told Bickmore he had already outlived his life expectancy.

‘At some point it will get me but I’m still fighting. Still kicking on. Looking up my diagnosis and my tumour, the average life expectancy was three years,’ he said.

Born in the Perth suburb of Balcatta, Ruffo’s showbusiness career began when he successfully auditioned for the third season of The X Factor Australia in 2011.



This post first appeared on Daily mail

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