'Neighbours' actor Peter Hardy dies aged 66 after drowning on beach in Australia

Actor Peter Hardy has died at the age of 66 after drowning in Fremantle, near Perth, in Western Australia as his friends and family paid tribute,

According to reports from The West Australian, the Neighbours star had allegedly been snorkeling at South Beach in Fremantle when he ran into difficulty.

Bystanders had performed CPR while awaiting paramedics, but emergency crews were unable to save Hardy, who died at the scene.

Hardy is believed to have travelled to Perth - where he grew up - from London, in order to visit his elderly mother.

I just read of the passing of Peter Hardy aka Phill Rakich in Mcleods Daughters Our condoleance to his family and friends -J-

Posted by Mcleods daughters on Sunday, March 19, 2023

Hardy had found fame playing Jimmy Drane in the Australian soap opera in 1997, before starring in 2000's McLeod’s Daughters and Chopper.

News of Hardy's death was confirmed by his brother, Michael, who said: "I’m devastated to say that my brother, Peter Hardy, passed away suddenly this morning. Rest in Peace my beloved little brother."

Others also took to social media to share their condolences, with Hardy's friend Andy Burns writing: "The amazing and beautiful Peter Hardy drowned while snorkeling at South Beach Perth.

"He was 66 years old and looked like a Greek god, so fit, and so happy to be back in his native WA visiting from London where he had made his home."

He added: "Words cannot express how deeply I feel this loss, We’ve been close friends since living together in Neutral Bay Sydney in the mid 80s.

"He was a superb actor a wonderful singer and guitarist he also played drums and sax. He always loved performing in the theatre as well as film and TV."

I am devastated to say that my brother, Peter Hardy, passed away suddenly this morning. This is the only means I have of...

Posted by Michael Hardy on Thursday, March 16, 2023

Burns added that Hardy had bought a canal boat in London, from which he would record music and send it to his friend.

The pal continued: "Heartfelt condolences to all his family and many friends over this devastating loss especially his beautiful girlfriend Lysa our thoughts are with you. Vale dear friend Peter Hardy RIP."

Another friend, Ross Anderson, wrote: "This news is such a heartbreaking shock. He’ll be held in the wide arms of the ocean he grow up beside, and in the hearts of all those he welcomed into his vital and witty orbit.

"Sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues."

Our thoughts are with Hardy's family and friends at this difficult time.

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