Home And Away may have seen plenty of characters killed off, but the Aussie show has seen its fair share of tragedies involving its real-life cast over the years including horror car crashes to overdoses
Since it first aired in 1988, the Australian soap opera Home And Away has featured numerous tragic deaths and tragedies.
But in recent years, the drama has also paid tribute to other show stars who passed away suddenly, in what has come to be regarded as the “Home And Away curse.”
In the past ten years, beloved actors like Dieter Brummer from Shane Parish, Ben Unwin from Jesse McGregor, and Jessica Falkholt from Hope Morrison have regretfully passed away. Fans of soap operas and celebrities have paid respect to these talents who left us too soon.
The Daily Star examines the tragic circumstances behind the deaths of some of Home And Away’s stars.
Dieter Brummer became one of the show’s numerous heartthrobs while portraying Shane Parish on Home and Away from 1992 to 1996.
The star was later said to have committed suicide after he was discovered dead at his home on July 24, 2021, at the age of 45, after police responded to a “concern for welfare” report.
Following the announcement, the actor’s family released the following statement: “On Saturday morning, we lost Dieter, who was charming, talented, humorous, complex, and dearly loved.
“Our lives have been left with a gaping hole by him, and nothing will ever be the same.
We send our condolences to everyone who knew, loved, or collaborated with him throughout the years.
Following the news of Dieter’s passing, fans also posted their condolences on social media, with one writing: “Oh my. What tragic news regarding Dieter Brummer. I distinctly recall following the plot both at home and afar. At this difficult occasion, my thoughts are with his family and friends. #RIPDieterBrummer.”
Added by a second “After learning about Dieter Brummer, I’m shocked. In the 1990s, Shane and Angel from Home and Away were a couple goals. On my school books, there were posters of him from Smash Hits. So sad and unexpected.”
After portraying Hope Morrison in the 2016 season of the serial opera Home And Away, Jessica Falkholt became another fan favorite.
But on Christmas Day 2017, she and her family were in a terrible vehicle accident that resulted in the passing of Jessica, her parents, and her sister.
The actress was taken by ambulance to St. George’s Hospital in New South Wales, where she underwent surgery and was later put on a life support system.
On January 17, 2018, a day after her parents’ and sister’s burial, the decision was made to turn off her life support system. She sadly passed away at the age of 29.
According to a relative of Jessica, they felt at ease knowing the actress was “back with her family,” according to Daily Mail Australia.
They further said “She is now with her family, which makes us all sad. She was most influenced by her mother, who I’m sure is holding her.”
Russel Kiefel, one of the founding stars of Home And Away, portrayed Roy O’ Neale in the 1990s before quitting the soap opera to perform on stage and portraying Russell Brennan in Neighbours in 2015.
Russell, however, unexpectedly passed away on November 20, 2016, at the age of 65, while appearing in a play at Darwin, Australia’s Brown’s Mart Theatre.
Russell Kiefel, who portrayed Russell Brennan in 2015 on Neighbours, received tributes from both Home And Away and Neighbours stars. Collette Mann, who plays Sheila Canning, posted the following on social media: “I am very very sad to say that the wonderful actor, Russell Kiefel, passed away yesterday. His wife Katrina and his cherished boys are in our prayers and thoughts at all times.
His on-screen son in Neighbours, Travis Burns, also added: “I was shocked to learn of Russell Kiefel’s demise today. Working with you was an absolute honor. Peace be with you.”
Ben Unwin initially tried out for another role in the soap opera Home And Away before being cast as Jesse McGregor in 1996.
But he earned a loyal following as Jesse, portraying the character for more than four years before quitting in 2000. Between 2002 and 2005, he made another visit to Summer Bay.
Ben’s body was found in 2019 at the base of Minyon Falls, a 300-foot waterfall. Tragically, it wasn’t until 14 years later that authorities were able to confirm that Ben had passed away.
According to a police statement, officers responded to a welfare issue by going to Minyon Falls in Whian Whian.
“A 41-year-old man’s body was discovered. There is no indication that the death was suspicious.
Fans and other celebrities from the entertainment industry paid tribute to the actor, with Chloe Richards actress Kirsty Wright posting a picture of her and Ben on set.
The post’s description read: “I’m at a complete loss for words,” she continued, adding: “I sit here, crying, while I browse old pictures of us on our wonderful journey into adulthood. I consider it an honor to have known you the manner that I did. You recognized me, and I saw into your lovely soul.”
A representative for Channel 7, which aired the Australian version of Home and Away, added: “Dieter was a beloved cast member of Home and Away.
We offer Dieter’s family and friends our warmest condolences during this extremely trying time.”
Gypsy Smith’s actress Kimberley Cooper told News Australia that Gypsy Smith was “a gift to come to work with every day” and that “to be on the receiving end of his friendship was to know unshakable support, devotion, and love.”
After starting out as a model at the age of 16, Annalise Braakensiek quickly rose to fame around the world. In 1998, she landed the role of Lise in the hit television series Home And Away.
However, in 2019, the actress is said to have posted a number of times on Instagram, one of which read: “Everything appears to feel twisted and upside down at the moment,” and another of which addressed her separation from her husband of 16 years, Danny Goldberg.
When Annalise’s friends and family started to worry about her, they alerted the police. The police later confirmed that the actress had been discovered dead at her Sydney residence on January 6, 2019.
Police later stated that the 46-year-death old’s had no unusual circumstances, although the cause of death has not been determined.
On Twitter, actor Rob Shehadie, who co-starred with Annalise in the Australian comedy Fat Pizza, paid respects to the celebrity. He wrote: “I was shocked and devastated to learn about Annalise Braakensiek’s demise; she was a wonderful person. I will always treasure the wonderful experiences we shared while filming Fat Pizza and touring. Annalise, may God rest your soul.”
In addition to being an actress, Annalise served as an ambassador and campaigner for the organization R U OK?, whose CEO, Brendan Maher, said in a statement: “The news that we learned today is still being processed by us.
“There is no better, more truthful, compassionate, and sincere representative we could have asked for.
After Belinda Emmett, who played Rebecca in the original TV series, received a breast cancer diagnosis, Megan Connelly took on the role of Rebecca Nash.
After being diagnosed with cancer, Belinda passed away in 2006 at the age of 32, only a year after she wed her TV host spouse Rove McManus.
On September 6, 2001, Megan Connelly, then 27 years old, was also discovered dead at a relative’s house.
Later, publications like The Independent stated that the actress had passed away from a suspected drug overdose.
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