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Emmerdale star Sam Gannon has sadly died suddenly at the age of just 31 while travelling in California.
He had been staying with family across the pond.
The actor's sister Amy Kelly confirmed that he passed away on Tuesday, saying of her brother: "Sam was a whirlwind, a unique character to say the least.
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"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 pal 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."
His death is currently being investigated by police, but is not being treated as suspicious.
Sam appeared in two episodes of the ITV soap as Kev, a horse-drawn carriage coachman, back in 2019, and shared the screen with Charity Dingle star Emma Atkins.
His sister has now created a JustGiving page to bring Sam's body back to the UK with a target of £17,000.
The page states that any extra funds raised will be donated to a charity in support of youth theatres around the UK, a "cause close to Sam's heart".
Amy is also intent on setting up a foundation in her brother's name for those who "need extra support".
The crowdfunding page has already raised more than £6,000, with friends, family and fans paying tribute to the late actor.
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One family member said they are "truly humbled and still overwhelmed by the outpouring of love" demonstrated by donors.
Elsewhere, pals Claire and David Hakin said: "The very best of men, always with a smile and a joke. Ready to help anyone, always kind and entertaining."
Indigo Camryn added to the JustGiving page: "Sam. I wish you were here so I could tell you how amazing you were, how much you made me laugh and how much I miss you already."
As well as appearing in Emmerdale, Sam also starred in three episodes of Tales of Bacon, along with flicks including Babes With Blades and Talking With Angels.
Sam, from Brayton in North Yorkshire, leaves behind the "love of his life" Zoe, his mum Angie and brothers Jason and Jordan.
He is also survived by his nieces Matilda and Bethany, and nephews Louis and Evan.
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