Dieter Brummer, best known for his role opposite Melissa George as Shane Parrish on Home and Away, has died age 45.
The actor was found dead in Glenhaven, in Sydney's north-west, on Saturday afternoon. His death is not being treated as suspicious.
Family friend Steve Comey shared the tragic news on Facebook this afternoon.
"Heartbreaking news," he wrote.
"We have lost a free spirit. Vale Dieter Brummer. Way too young. Way too soon. My sincerest, deepest condolences to his beautiful sister Karlene and all of Dieters family & friends. Keep flying young fella."
On Twitter, author Nigel Giles wrote: "Vale Dieter Brummer, best known as Shane Parrish on Home and Away."
NSW Police told news.com.au: "About 1.30pm (Saturday 24 July 2021), officers from The Hills Police Area Command responded to reports of a concern for welfare at a home on Glenhaven Rd, Glenhaven.
"The body of a man was located inside the home. His death is not believed to be suspicious. A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner."
Brummer spent four years on the set of Home and Away from 1992-1996, and took out the most popular actor Silver Logie in both 1995 and 1996.
He went on to appear in various TV dramas including the Underbelly series, Rescue Special Ops, Winners and Losers and a stint on Neighbours in both 2011 and 2012 as the character Troy Miller.
Brummer worked as a window-cleaner between acting roles and was running his own business.
Responding to the sad news, a Seven spokesperson told news.com.au: "Home and Away and Channel 7 are deeply saddened to hear of Dieter Brummer's passing.
"Dieter was a much-loved Home and Away cast member and celebrated by Australian and international audiences for his award-winning portrayal of Shane Parrish. We send our sincere condolences to Dieter's family and friends during this very difficult time."
Tributes from friends in the entertainment industry have started to flow on Twitter.
Born in Sydney in 1976, Brummer was just a teenager when he landed the role as Parrish. Alongside Melissa George's character Angel Brooks, he became one half of Australia's favourite couple.
But in a shock to fans of the soap, he later revealed the pair didn't get along in real life.
"There was a lot of pressure on us," George recalled in the 2018 TV special Home and Away: Endless Summer, released to celebrate the program's 30th anniversary.
"We had to look like the perfect darling couple in public."
When asked what the two of them were really like off screen, Brummer made it clear they weren't the best of mates.
"It wasn't like anything off screen," he said with a cheeky grin. "It was all on screen."
According to Woman's Day in 2012, Brummer even asked producers to kill off his character after he had had enough of working with George.
His character died from blood poisoning in a 1996 episode.
In 2014, the former Summer Bay star said he's "not proud" of his acting on Home and Away in a candid TV Week interview.
"From the clips I've seen on YouTube, it's hard not to cringe," he told the publication.
He went on to say he believed his involvement in the show prevented him from landing other roles.
"You get typecast. It's hard for producers or casting agents not to remember. I'm still 'that bloke from Home and Away' 20 years later.
"Sometimes you sit back and think, 'I wonder what it would've been like if I didn't get that job at 15?'"
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