Former Neighbours actress Miranda Fryer has died at the age of 34, it has been confirmed.
Fryer, who played Sky Mangel when she was a child on the long-running soap opera, passed away in her sleep last Thursday (6th January) at her home in Glen Iris, Melbourne.
Her family said the star had some issues with her heart, but a cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
"True soulmates, Miranda and [husband] Arthur were making plans to start their family, when one day last week she went to sleep and never woke up. We do not know why," her loved ones said in a statement posted online.
"She had had some health issues with her heart. Maybe her beautiful persona was just too good for this world of ours. We, who all loved her so much, shall treasure the memories she has left us with and mourn our loss forever.
"A beautiful child, stunning teenager, beautiful inside, and out… a woman, with so much love and happiness given and received. So many friends, so much still to offer this world, gone.
Fryer began starring in the Australian soap when she was just 18 months old in 1989, appearing alongside her on-screen parents, Joe Mangel and Kerry Bishop, who were portrayed by actors Mark Little and Linda Hartley-Clark.
She starred in the soap for three years until 1991 and was the first ever child actor to be contracted to the series.
Her role was later taken over by Stephanie McIntosh from 2003 to 2007 and again from 2015 to 2020.
After her stint on Neighbours, Fryer didn’t pursue an acting career and instead studied to become a nurse.
She was due to start a postgraduate position at Monash Hospital’s neuroscience department in February after recently completing her nursing degree at Monash University in 2021, and was also considering a master’s degree in the field.
Fryer's mother, Traci Hunter, told the Herald Sun: "She was the most wonderful daughter. She had so much love and passion for life.
"She was a truly kind, loving person, almost too good to be true... Miranda was adored by everyone.
"She just went to sleep and did not wake up. It is a terrible shock to us all."
TV casting director Jan Russ added: "I feel so very sad to lose one of my cast and especially one so young as Miranda who spent her very young years on the show.
"I love them like my own and feel the loss when they pass."