Great Britain

Who was Ben Unwin? Home and Away actor from Australia who passed away aged 41

HOME and Away star Ben Unwin has tragically died just one day before his 42nd birthday.

We take a took at the life and legacy of the beloved Australian actor.

Who was Ben Unwin?

Sydney-born actor Ben Unwin was best known for his role of Jesse McGregor on Home and Away for more than a decade.

While he had initially auditioned for another role, he ultimately landed the role of Summer Bay bad boy Jesse, which was written exclusively for him.

Ben first played Jesse in a four-year stint from 1996, then again from 2002 to 2005.

The Aussie actor was nominated for Most Popular New Talent at the 1997 Logie Awards.

In 1999, he received nominations for Best Actor and Sexiest Male from the Inside Soap Awards.

After leaving Home and Away, Ben went to work in the music world, directing videos for Boy George and Culture Club.

Ben had left acting and pursued a career as a lawyer completing a law degree and working as a senior solicitor in Newcastle, NSW.

How did he die?

Ben was 41 when his body was found in his home by police on August 14, a day before his 42nd birthday.

Officers from New South Wales Police found his body at his home in Minyon Falls, around three hours drive south of Brisbane.

Cops are not treating his death as suspicious.

NSW Police said in a statement: “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.”

Many have said the actor suffered from mental health problems which interfered with his well-being.

What tributes have been made?

Speaking with Channel 7, a spokesperson for Home and Away said the show was “saddened” by his death.

He 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."

Kimberley Cooper, who played Gypsy Smith on the show, told she was “just so sad” to hear of Ben's passing.

She said: “He was a gift to come to work with everyday and to be on the receiving end of his friendship was to know unwavering support, loyalty and love."

Cooper led the tributes to her former co-star on social media, posting a photo of them on the cover of TV Week.

In the caption Cooper wrote: “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.”

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.

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