Johnny Ruffo was an Australian singer, songwriter, dancer, actor and television presenter.
He was a finalist on the third season of The X Factor Australia in 2011 and won the twelfth season of Dancing with the Stars Australia in 2012.
He also starred in the soap opera Home and Away from 2013 to 2016. He died of brain cancer on November 10, 2023 at the age of 35.
Who was Johnny Ruffo?
Johnny Ruffo was born John Patrick Ruffo in Balcatta, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, to parents Jill and Pascoe Ruffo.
Ruffo’s parents separated when he was three years old. He spent most of his youth living in a small Homeswest unit with his mother.
At the age of 12, Ruffo began pursuing his dream in music, following in the footsteps of his idol, Michael Jackson.
He also taught himself how to play the guitar and piano, and wrote his first song at the age of 14.
Ruffo was educated at Balcatta Senior High School.
Before entering The X Factor, he worked as a concreter and got into the business thanks to his father who works in the trade.
Ruffo also performed around Perth with electropop band, Supanova. Ruffo died on 10 November 2023 at the age of 35.
Johnny Ruffo had a successful career in music and television. Some of his career highlights include:
The X Factor Australia: He was a finalist on the third season of the singing competition in 2011, finishing in third place and signing a record deal with Sony Music Australia.
Dancing with the Stars Australia: He won the twelfth season of the dance competition in 2012, showcasing his skills in various styles of dance.
Home and Away: He played the role of Chris Harrington on the popular soap opera from 2013 to 2016, earning a Logie Award nomination for Most Popular New Talent in 2014.
Music releases: He released several singles and an album, Untouchable, between 2012 and 2014, achieving chart success and platinum certification for some of his songs.
No Finish Line: He wrote a memoir about his life and career, published in 2023, shortly before his death.
Ruffo was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, and underwent surgery to remove a tumour, but the cancer returned three years later. Last August, Ruffo revealed that his diagnosis was terminal.
His death was announced in a statement shared to his Instagram account on Friday.
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“It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny,” the statement read.
“Surrounded by his partner Tahnee and family, Johnny went peacefully with the support of some incredible nurses and doctors.
“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.”
Johnny Ruffo wife: Was Johnny Ruffo married?
Johnny Ruffo was not married, but he had a girlfriend named Tahnee Sims.
They met in a dance studio in 2015 and she supported him throughout his cancer battle.
He also credited her with saving his life by urging him to go to the hospital in 2017 when he had a severe headache.
They celebrated their six-year anniversary of his initial diagnosis in August 2023.
“Six years on from diagnosis 💜 what a fighter!!” Sims captioned post, which was accompanied by a series of photos documenting the star’s long battle.
Johnny Ruffo Children: Did Johnny Ruffo have kids?
Johnny Ruffo, prior to his passing, did not have any children.
Although he was in a relationship with Tahnee Sims, they did not marry or have any kids.