Emmerdale actor Sam Gannon has died at the age of 31.
The screen star was visiting family in California at the time of his death, with his sister Amy Kelly confirming the sad news.
Sam died on Tuesday and his family and friends have started a JustGiving page in a bid to raise the £17,000 needed to repatriate his body from the US.
According to the Yorkshire Post, Amy said: ‘Sam was a whirlwind, a unique character to say the least.
‘He genuinely cared for others and was a very sensitive soul. It is clear from the tributes we have received that he touched the hearts of so many.’’
His friend Lewis Matthews added: ‘Sam was a “real life Duracell bunny” with a seemingly endless supply of energy and love.
‘He delighted audiences with his charm, wit and his wonderful musical abilities.’
The circumstances of Sam’s death are being investigated by police but his death is not being treated as suspicious.
MailOnline has contacted a representative for Sam for further comment.
Musician and actor Sam was given his big television break when he was cast as a horse drawn carriage coachman in ITV soap Emmerdale in 2019.
He played the character of Kev and appeared alongside Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) in a number of scenes.
He also appeared alongside actor John Thomson in a short film titled Talking with Angels.
Sam also performed with a number of regional theatre groups, including Gobbledigook Theatre and The Northumberland Theatre Company.
His family are aiming to raise the £17,000 needed to repatriate Sam’s body from California back to the UK. More than £6,300 had been raised at the time of writing.
A statement on the JustGiving page stated: ‘Sam was a true performer, and any extra money raised will be donated to a UK charity supporting youth theatre, a cause close to Sam’s heart.’
Tributes for the actor poured in via the JustGiving page, with Olwen May writing: ‘I directed Sam in a couple of projects. He was such a talented young actor and brought great joy to friends, and audiences alike. This a truly, sad loss. My thoughts are with his family. So sorry.’
Another person wrote: ‘So sorry to hear about Sam – I went to college with him and he was truly the most lovely person. I hope you are able to bring him home.’
Another former colleague wrote: ‘Rest in peace Sam. Such a lovely guy and lots of funny and wonderful memories working together in Sheffield. Sending love to all your family and friends at this difficult time.’
While someone else shared: ‘I’m so saddened to hear about this. I had the privilege of meeting Sam at the Fringe festival, such a charismatic and kind person who would connect with everyone. My thoughts are with you all.’