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How Dieter Brummer's onscreen romance with Melissa George propelled him to stardom on Home and Away

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He won legions of fans playing Shane Parrish on Home and Away, but Dieter Brummer had a tragic ending.

The former teen heartthrob was found dead at a home in Sydney’s Glenhaven on Saturday at the age of 45.

Brummer first found fame on Home and Away, starring on the long-running Channel Seven soap from 1992 until 1996.

RIP: He won legions of fans playing Shane Parrish on Home and Away, but Dieter Brummer had a tragic ending

RIP: He won legions of fans playing Shane Parrish on Home and Away, but Dieter Brummer had a tragic ending

He won plenty of adoration from young female fans in the role, and was awarded ‘The Prince of Soap’ by Dolly magazine for two consecutive years in 1993 and 1994. 

Brummer’s onscreen romance with co-star Melissa George was legendary, but behind the scenes, it was a different story.

Speaking to Woman’s Day magazine in November 2019, Brummer admitted he never got along along with George, 44, in real-life.

Tragic: The former teen heartthrob was found dead at a home in Sydney's Glenhaven on Saturday at the age of 45

Tragic: The former teen heartthrob was found dead at a home in Sydney’s Glenhaven on Saturday at the age of 45

‘We may have been love interests on the show but the chemistry was far from real!’ he said at the time.

‘Mel was incredibly ambitious right from the outset. I think she wanted to be the next Kylie Minogue. 

‘She was a big fan and she aspired to be a big star just like Kylie. I don’t think she had much time for the cast of Home and Away.’

Claim to fame: Brummer first found fame on Home and Away, starring on the long-running Channel Seven soap from 1992 until 1996. Pictured with co-star Melissa George

Claim to fame: Brummer first found fame on Home and Away, starring on the long-running Channel Seven soap from 1992 until 1996. Pictured with co-star Melissa George

Brummer said he hadn’t spoken to George since he left the show, after begging the show’s producers to kill him off.

He told news.com.au in July 2018 that his real-life relationship with George wasn’t what fans envisioned.   

‘There was a lot of pressure on us. We had to look like the perfect darling couple in public,’ he admitted. 

Heartthrob: He won plenty of adoration from young female fans in the role, and was awarded 'The Prince of Soap' by Dolly magazine for two consecutive years in 1993 and 1994

Heartthrob: He won plenty of adoration from young female fans in the role, and was awarded ‘The Prince of Soap’ by Dolly magazine for two consecutive years in 1993 and 1994

He added: ‘It wasn’t like anything off screen. It was all on screen.’ 

After being cast in Home and Away at the age of 15, Brummer later admitted he’d found his rise to fame ‘quite bizarre’.

He played bad boy Shane, who eventually settled down after finding love with Angel, played by George.

Tension: Brummer's onscreen romance with co-star Melissa George was legendary, but behind the scenes, it was a different story

Tension: Brummer’s onscreen romance with co-star Melissa George was legendary, but behind the scenes, it was a different story

Brummer openly admitted that he’d been disappointed with his character’s development after he romanced Angel.

‘You don’t even talk to anyone else. There’s no interaction with other characters,’ he’d said, adding that Shane had turned into a ‘wuss’.

After recovering from a motorcycle accident, the character of Shane then died from sepsis after cutting himself on a wire.

'We may have been love interests on the show but the chemistry was far from real!' he said of working with Melissa George

‘We may have been love interests on the show but the chemistry was far from real!’ he said of working with Melissa George

‘I know there’s life after Home and Away and I’m not afraid of it. Now it’s time to move on,’ Brummer said after quitting the show.

In an interview with TV Tonight in April 2010, Brummer reflected on his time on Home and Away, including his departure.

‘It was a pretty intense time coming out of high school to receive all this fame and adulation,’ he said. 

'I know there's life after Home and Away and I'm not afraid of it. Now it's time to move on,' Brummer said after quitting the show

‘I know there’s life after Home and Away and I’m not afraid of it. Now it’s time to move on,’ Brummer said after quitting the show

‘As great as it was I wanted to prove to myself I could get my hands dirty and sweat for a buck as easily as standing around on set, being primped and preened.’

Speaking to TV WEEK in 2014, Brummer confessed that he was ‘not proud’ of his work on Home and Away.

‘From the clips I’ve seen on YouTube, it’s hard not to cringe,’ he told the publication.

Disappointment: Speaking to TV WEEK in 2014, Brummer confessed that he was 'not proud' of his work on Home and Away

Disappointment: Speaking to TV WEEK in 2014, Brummer confessed that he was ‘not proud’ of his work on Home and Away

Brummer also said he was convinced that his role on the show had prevented him from being cast in other projects.  

‘You get typecast. It’s hard for producers or casting agents not to remember. I’m still “that bloke from Home and Away” 20 years later,’ he added.

‘Sometimes you sit back and think, “I wonder what it would’ve been like if I didn’t get that job at 15?”‘

Typecast: Brummer also said he was convinced that his role on the show had prevented him from being cast in other projects. Pictured at a movie premiere in Sydney in June 2005

Typecast: Brummer also said he was convinced that his role on the show had prevented him from being cast in other projects. Pictured at a movie premiere in Sydney in June 2005

After landing a few more roles on shows such as Underbelly, Neighbours and Winners & Losers, Brummer turned his back on acting for good in 2014. 

According to a report by The Daily Telegraph in November, Brummer started up a high-rise window cleaning business after quitting acting.

‘People say that I’m just a window cleaner, in reality it’s substantially more involved than that. Working at heights, it’s a relatively specialist trade,’ he told TV Tonight.

'You get typecast. It's hard for producers or casting agents not to remember. I'm still "that bloke from Home and Away" 20 years later,' he said

‘You get typecast. It’s hard for producers or casting agents not to remember. I’m still “that bloke from Home and Away” 20 years later,’ he said

Brummer said he was able to employ his rock climbing skills in his new profession, and was appreciative of the ‘life experience’ it had given him.

‘I just wanted to get a bit of real life experience under my belt, but I’d always intended on coming back to the acting game at some point,’ he added.

In an interview with news.com.au in April 2009, Brummer said he was happy with his new profession, referring to it as his ‘plan B’. 

Moving on: According to a report by The Daily Telegraph in November, Brummer started up a high-rise window cleaning business after quitting acting

Moving on: According to a report by The Daily Telegraph in November, Brummer started up a high-rise window cleaning business after quitting acting

‘The good part about it is I don’t have to deal with people too much,’ he explained. 

‘If I was pulling beers I would have to put up with guys saying: “Oh you’re pulling beers now and you used to be in Underbelly.”‘  

The former actor was found dead by police on Saturday afternoon. His death is not being treated as suspicious. 

Sad: The former actor was found dead by police on Saturday afternoon. His death is not being treated as suspicious

Sad: The former actor was found dead by police on Saturday afternoon. His death is not being treated as suspicious

‘About 1.30pm (Saturday 24 July 2021), officers from The Hills Police Area Command responded to reports of a concern for welfare at a home on Glenhaven Road, Glenhaven,’ a police spokesperson said.

‘The body of a man was located inside the home. His death is not believed to be suspicious. A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.’

Following the news of his passing, Brummer’s family released a statement saying their world would ‘never be the same’.

'The body of a man was located inside the home. His death is not believed to be suspicious. A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner,' a police spokesperson said

‘The body of a man was located inside the home. His death is not believed to be suspicious. A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner,’ a police spokesperson said

‘On behalf of my family, We post this today with a heavy heart,’ it began. 

‘We lost our handsome, talented, funny, complicated and beloved Dieter on Saturday morning.

‘He has left a massive hole in our lives and our world will never be the same. Our thoughts go out to all of you who knew him, loved him, or worked with him over the years.

Heartbroken: Following the news of his passing, Brummer's family released a statement saying their world would 'never be the same'

Heartbroken: Following the news of his passing, Brummer’s family released a statement saying their world would ‘never be the same’

‘We appreciate you respecting our privacy at this terrible time.’

They added: ‘Should you, or anyone you know be affected by this, or indeed are feeling pain at this time, there are good people that you can talk to. Please pick up the phone – Lifeline 13 11 14.’ 

Meanwhile, Channel Seven – which airs Home and Away – said they were ‘deeply saddened’ to learn of his death.

'Home and Away and Channel Seven are deeply saddened to hear of Dieter Brummer's passing,' the network said in a statement

‘Home and Away and Channel Seven are deeply saddened to hear of Dieter Brummer’s passing,’ the network said in a statement

‘Home and Away and Channel Seven are deeply saddened to hear of Dieter Brummer’s passing,’ the network said in a statement. 

‘Dieter was a much-loved Home and Away cast member and celebrated by Australian and international audiences for his award-winning portrayal of Shane Parrish. 

‘We send our sincere condolences to Dieter’s family and friends during this very difficult time.’ 

If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

'Dieter was a much-loved Home and Away cast member and celebrated by Australian and international audiences for his award-winning portrayal of Shane Parrish,' said Seven

‘Dieter was a much-loved Home and Away cast member and celebrated by Australian and international audiences for his award-winning portrayal of Shane Parrish,’ said Seven

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