Australian actor and writer Damian Hill has died, aged 42.
Hill, who was best known for his starring performance in 2015 comedy Pawno, passed away on Saturday night in Melbourne, his brother Julian confirmed.
“My eyes are bluer but he was the best one, a beautiful soul,” Julian Hill said in an emotional Facebook post according to Fairfax Media.
The cause of death was not immediately reported.
Better known as “Dame”, Hill was due to start filming M4M today – a project he co-wrote and co-produced about Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. He was due to star alongside Hugo Weaving.
“We are all heartbroken but we will regroup and forge ahead,” the film’s director Paul Ireland said.
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts also paid tribute, quoting Hill’s fellow actor and friend, Steven Bastoni.
“We have lost a real gem,” Steven Bastoni said.
“He had that rare screen presence, a combination of warmth & fragility reminiscent of a young Montgomery Cliff or James Dean.”
Hill, who had more recently starred in the Venice Film Festival hit ‘West of Sunshine alongside his stepson Ty Perham, had previously completed roles in Neighbours, Nowhere Boys and The Death and Life of Otto Bloom.
He is survived by his partner Beth, daughters Jordie, 24, and Frankie, seven, and stepsons Ty, 13, and Jay, 11.
Vale Damian Hill, gifted actor, writer and producer. With a slate of work attesting to the breadth of his talents, including #WestofSunshine, he will be missed by friends, family and the screen industry alike. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/ebXsu68SKl
— Film Victoria (@FilmVictoria) September 23, 2018