Australian actor Dieter Brummer, best known for his role as Shane Parrish on TV soap Home And Away between 1992 and 1996, has died aged 45.
Brummer was found dead at a house in Sydney on Saturday by New South Wales police responding to a welfare call.
The force said his death is not being treated as suspicious.
In a statement on Monday, Brummer's family said: "We lost our handsome, talented, funny, complicated and beloved Dieter.
"He has left a massive hole in our lives and our world will never be the same" it added.
"Our thoughts go out to all of you who knew him, loved him, or worked with him over the years."
Brummer was enormously popular on Home and Away during the 1990s, playing the love interest of Melissa George's Angel Brooks.
The Seven Network, which airs Home and Away in Australia, said it was "deeply saddened" by the news.
"Dieter was a much-loved Home and Away cast member and celebrated by Australian and international audiences," a statement said.
"We send our sincere condolences to Dieter's family and friends during this very difficult time."
Brummer joined Home and Away aged 15 and became a fan favourite - crowned most popular actor at Australia's Logie TV awards for two years running in 1995 and 1996.
He was also twice voted "prince of soap" by Dolly magazine readers, as viewers became enchanted by his storyline with George.
Brummer left the long-running soap when his character was written out after dying from septicaemia in 1996, but continued to act in TV roles, including true-crime drama Underbelly, Winners and Losers and a 26-episode stint at rival soap, Neighbours, as Capt. Troy Miller, in 2011.
In later years, Brummer revealed he took up a career as a high-rise window cleaner after departing Home and Away to experience life out of the limelight.
He told TV Tonight in 2010: "It was a pretty intense time coming out of high school to receive all this fame and adulation.
"As great as it was, I wanted to prove to myself I could get my hands dirty and sweat for a buck as easily as standing around on set, being primped and preened."
On Monday, co-stars and celebrities paid tribute to Brummer following news of his passing.
Fellow Home and Away star and family friend Steve Comey wrote: "Heartbreaking news. 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 Dieter's family and friends. Keep flying young fella."
Georgie Parker, known as Roo Stewart in the soap, also paid her respects.
She commented on Home And Away's tribute, writing: "Such sad news, such a lovely man and a good actor too. Much love to his family and loved ones at this terribly difficult time."
Actor Steve Bastoni added: "I met Dieter Brummer on Underbelly, he seemed like a decent fellow. Very sad news."
British comic Tiff Stevenson also paid tribute to Brummer, revealing she had a poster of him on her wall as a teenager.
"Australia seemed so impossibly far away and glamorous" she wrote on Twitter. "Nowadays everything feels close, real and fallible. RIP Dieter".
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