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"I’m so sorry. I love you." Home and Away's Kristy Wright on losing co-star Ben Unwin.

Former Home and Away actress Kristy Wright has shared a tribute to her late castmate Ben Unwin.

Unwin, who played Jesse McGregor on the long-running Aussie soap, passed away last week aged 41. A NSW police statement released to Yahoo Lifestyle said police responded to a welfare call on August 14 when they found his body. His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Wright posted a heartfelt message on her Instagram account on Wednesday, saying she is “completely lost for words, heartbroken and shattered”.

“In 1992, I met you for the first time and immediately fell into a crazy school girl crush. Watching you sing Tom Jones ‘If I only knew’ in your tight white pants is one of my favorite memories of you and just the first of so many. We were kids with the same dream and pretty quickly we became friends. My crush disappeared but my love for you was just beginning,” the actress known for playing Chloe Richards on Home and Away wrote.

 

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I’m completely lost for words.. heartbroken and shattered. In 1992 I met you for the first time and immediately fell into a crazy school girl crush. Watching you sing Tom Jones ‘If I only knew’ in your tight white pants is one of my favorite memories of you and just the first of so many. We were kids with the same dream and pretty quickly we became friends.. my crush disappeared but my love for you was just beginning. Years later we both found ourselves working on that little show @homeandaway and our friendship grew deeper. You harassed the writers to create a love story between our characters and when it finally happened we laughed our way through it and were just so happy to have the chance to work so closely with each other. I sit here, with tears, as I look through old photos of us on our magical journey into adulthood. I feel privileged to have known you the way I did. I saw into your beautiful soul and you saw me.. we were both big on maintaining eye contact.. you always made me feel beautiful and you made me laugh.. every day and anywhere I was with you. You were one of the most talented people I know, one of the kindest, smartest and funniest. You were a rock star. I am hearing your laugh now as I write this. We haven’t spoken in a few years and I can not express in this moment how sorry I am for that… I can’t believe you’re not looking at the same sky as me right now. I miss you now that I know I will never see you again.. I will forever regret not reaching out more.. Beautiful Benny, Unners, Dingers… I’m so sorry. I love you. RIP my old friend.. see you on the next magical journey. Love, Bubs. ❤️❤️❤️#benunwin #homeandaway #vale #heartbroken

A post shared by Kristy Lee Wright (@i.am.kristy.wright) on

“Years later, we both found ourselves working on that little show Home and Away and our friendship grew deeper. You harassed the writers to create a love story between our characters and when it finally happened we laughed our way through it and were just so happy to have the chance to work so closely with each other. I sit here, with tears, as I look through old photos of us on our magical journey into adulthood.”

The 41-year-old went on to express her regret over losing touch with Unwin, describing the late actor turned solicitor as “one of the kindest, smartest and funniest” people with a “beautiful soul”.

“We haven’t spoken in a few years and I can not express in this moment how sorry I am for that. I can’t believe you’re not looking at the same sky as me right now. I miss you now that I know I will never see you again. I will forever regret not reaching out more.”

“Beautiful Benny, Unners, Dingers… I’m so sorry. I love you. RIP my old friend… see you on the next magical journey. Love, Bubs.”

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Other Home and Away stars including Lynne McGranger, Ada Nicodemou and Kimberley Cooper have shared their own statements.

“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,” Cooper, who played Gipsy Smith on the soap, said.

McGranger told The Daily Telegraph“Sending my deepest condolences to his family and friends”.

Nicodemou, whose character Leah Patterson-Baker had a relationship with Unwin’s character, told Nine.com.au: “I just woke up to the tragic news of Ben’s passing, my heart goes out to his family”.

Unwin played Summer Bay’s “bad boy” Jesse from 1996–2000 and 2002–2005. He joined the cast of Home and Away in 1996, a month after completing high school, and his performance on the show scored him a Logie nomination in 1997 for the Most Popular New Talent category. That same year, he was also nominated for a British National Television award, again for his outstanding performance as a newcomer to the industry.

In 2005, Unwin quit Home and Away to pursue work in America, and tried his hand in the music world. He directed videos for Boy George and Culture Club (I Just Wanna Be Loved and Your Kisses Are Charity), before packing in show business for law.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please seek professional help and contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If someone is in immediate danger, call 000 immediately.

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