Former Home and Away actor Ben Unwin has passed away at the age of 41.
The body of the Logie nominated star who played Jesse McGregor from 1996-2000 and 2002-2005 was found last week.
A statement from New South Wales Police revealed the news today.
“Police attended Minyon Falls, Whian Whian, responding to a concern for welfare.
“The body of a 41-year-old man was located. The death has not been treated as suspicious.”
Since leaving the Australian soap 14 years ago, Ben retrained and had been practising as a solicitor.
His Home and Away co-stars have been paying tribute on social media.
Kimberley Cooper, who played Gypsy Nash, posted a photo of her first TV Week cover, in which she featured alongside Ben. She said:
“My first tv week cover was with you. we had years of laughter, be it giggles on set trying to get through scenes as lovers or doubled over belly laughs at the pubs after work.
I will be sad for now, but I promise to tell stories of great joy about our times together. You forever hold a special place in my heart.“
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My first tv week cover was with you. We had years of laughter, be it giggles on set trying to get through scenes as lovers or doubled over belly laughs at the pubs after work. I will be sad for now, but I promise to tell stories of great joy about our times together. You forever hold a special place in my heart. Love you Onion ❤️
Dan Bennett, who was Associate Script Producer and Script Producer during Ben’s time on Home and Away, took to Twitter to pay tribute, commenting on how “Ben was an utterly lovely guy.”
Former co-star Kristy Wright, who was a friend of Ben’s pre-Home and Away, also posted a touching tribute in an Instagram post:
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I’m completely lost for words.. heartbroken and shattered. In 1992 I met you for the first time and immediately fell into a crazy school girl crush. Watching you sing Tom Jones ‘If I only knew’ in your tight white pants is one of my favorite memories of you and just the first of so many. We were kids with the same dream and pretty quickly we became friends.. my crush disappeared but my love for you was just beginning. Years later we both found ourselves working on that little show @homeandaway and our friendship grew deeper. You harassed the writers to create a love story between our characters and when it finally happened we laughed our way through it and were just so happy to have the chance to work so closely with each other. I sit here, with tears, as I look through old photos of us on our magical journey into adulthood. I feel privileged to have known you the way I did. I saw into your beautiful soul and you saw me.. we were both big on maintaining eye contact.. you always made me feel beautiful and you made me laugh.. every day and anywhere I was with you. You were one of the most talented people I know, one of the kindest, smartest and funniest. You were a rock star. I am hearing your laugh now as I write this. We haven’t spoken in a few years and I can not express in this moment how sorry I am for that… I can’t believe you’re not looking at the same sky as me right now. I miss you now that I know I will never see you again.. I will forever regret not reaching out more.. Beautiful Benny, Unners, Dingers… I’m so sorry. I love you. RIP my old friend.. see you on the next magical journey. Love, Bubs. ❤️❤️❤️#benunwin #homeandaway #vale #heartbroken
In a statement, Seven Network said:
“Cast and crew from Home and Away are saddened to learn of the passing of former castmate, Ben Unwin. Ben’s work in the role of Jesse McGregor is remembered with much affection. Ben’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, in Australia you can seek support and information by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.
In the UK, phone The Samaritans on 116 123, CALM on 0800 58 58 58, Papyrus on 0800 068 41 41, or Childline on 0800 1111.