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Troy Beckwith: Neighbours actors pay tribute to co-star, dead at 48

Neighbours star Kym Valentine has thanked her co-star Troy Beckwith for "all the memories" as she announced his death on social media.

Beckwith played Michael Martin in the long-running Australian soap opera from 1992 to 1998.

His family later confirmed the 48-year-old actor had passed away following "a tough battle with cancer".

In her Facebook post, Valentine, who played Libby Kennedy in the show, wrote: "It pains me so much to have to say this. Our dear old friend Troy Beckwith has passed away.

"Another member of our TV family gone way too soon."

She said there would be no funeral, in accordance with Beckwith's wishes.

Valentine went on: "Thanks for all the memories my cheeky mate and all my love to your friends and family."

She also shared a photo of her and Beckwith from the 1990s, laughing and posing together at a black tie event.

In another tribute, Australian actor Brett Blewitt, who played Brett Stark on Neighbours, described Beckwith as "such a lovely person".

He added: "Deeply thoughtful and empathetic. Cheeky and playful once out of his shell. Way too soon. Love you mate xx."

Lucinda Cowden, who plays Melanie Pearson on Ramsay Street, posted a string of broken heart emojis, while Neighbours casting director Jan Russ commented: "Dear Troy… That is so sad. Gorgeous boy."

Beckwith first appeared on Neighbours playing the guest character of Darren Wood, but later became known for his regular role of bad boy Michael Martin.

The character's villainous behaviour, which saw him put into a detention centre, led some fans to dub him "Sicko Micko".

Beckwith once said that despite his character eventually changing his ways, he preferred it when he was bad as it was more fun to play.

Away from Neighbours, Beckwith also starred in the sci-fi comedy The Miraculous Mellops and the sitcom Pugwall.