Neighbours actor Troy Beckwith, who played one of the show’s most memorable villains, has died, aged 48.
The news was announced by Beckwith’s former co-star, Kym Valentine, who played Libby Kennedy. She wrote: “It pains me so much to have to say this. Our dear old friend Troy Beckwith has passed away.”
Valentine continued: “Another member of our TV family gone way too soon. There will be no funeral as per Troy’s request. Thanks for all the memories my cheeky mate and all my love to your friends and family.”
No cause of death has been revealed.
Beckwith appeared on the Australian soap from 1992 to 1998, replacing Samuel Hammington as the infamous villain Michael Martin. He was given the nickname “Sicko Micko” by fans of the soap.
The character was a fan favourite among viewers, with Michael a regular fixture in lists ranking the best Neighbours characters of the 1990s. Ausculture branded the character “the Charles Manson of Ramsay Street”, with HecklerSpray writing: “Michael was one of Neighbours’ few convincing bad guys, who probably arbitrarily converted to being good at a later date.”
Brett Stark actor Brett Blewitt, who can currently be seen in the Neighbours revival, shared a tribute to Beckwith, writing: “He was such a lovely person. Deeply thoughtful and empathetic. Cheeky and playful once out of his shell. Way too soon. Love you mate.”
Meanwhile, Lucinda Cowden, who plays Melanie Pearson, posted a series of broken heart emojis.
Beckwith also starred in the series Pugwall, with his co-star Ricky Fleming writing in tribute: “RIP to my brother from another mother. From birth we were trouble together and joined at the soul, no one will ever know the adventures and joy we had as the mischievous two (tricky and roy) in this life.
“I can honestly say there was never a dull moment when we were together. May you be in peace and still be the infectious joy of those who are in your presence now. Troy Beckwith, love you buddy.”