Francis Tipene is known for showing the world the more lighthearted side of death.
But the funeral director recently opened up about his own struggles in life after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery.
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He and his wife Kaiora became global television stars after their locally made documentary series The Casketeers, all about their lives as funeral directors, was picked up by Netflix.
Recent photos from a staff function posted on Facebook had Tipene's friends and supporters commenting on his apparent dramatic weight loss.
"My goodness Francis, where is the rest of you? Haha kudos," commented another.
Another wrote, "Holy hecka where is the rest of you haha, looking FLY MR."
"Gosh Francis! Your weight loss is amazing!! Looking awesome."
The Casketeers star revealed he'd had gastric sleeve surgery for health reasons - he also suffers from chronic sleep apnea.
"Of course it helps you lose weight and feel better as well."
"It's still a struggle," he admits. "It's all in the mind and I get it now."
Tipene said that prior to the surgery he had to see a psychologist.
"I wasn't even going to go through with the surgery. I was like no, I'm fine. But I wish I had talked more about it."
"It's all in the mind and you have to change the way you eat - it's easy to go back to square one and that's the struggle."
It's not the easiest time of year to maintain healthy eating habits, and Tipene admits it's hard with all the family functions and outings around Christmas time.
"It's also hard to explain that I'm not being rude, especially in my culture where if you don't eat people think it's rude, you think their food isn't good enough for them - but that's not the case."
The surgery had the benefits of instant gratification, but Tipene says he's working hard to maintain it. Although he still struggles with fatigue, he does find life easier now.
"I'm more confident, when we take the kids to sports I'm more confident around other parents."
Reactions were mixed, he said.
"Lots of people ask me if I'm okay. But there's been a lot of wows as well, and I've been mistaken for my 14-year-old son a couple of times.
"It makes you look a bit younger, I guess. That's nice to hear."
Tipene Funerals is based in Onehunga, where the humble family business catapulted to fame after Francis' passion for the funeral industry inspired him to pack up and move to Auckland from Kaitaia.
The Casketeers will return to TVNZ for its third season in the new year.