Home and Away spoilers follow from Australian episodes, which some UK viewers may prefer to avoid.
Home and Away stars Patrick O'Connor and Courtney Miller have posted heartfelt messages praising Tim Franklin, after the actor's final scenes as Colby Thorne aired on Australian screens.
Colby, struggling in prison, writes a letter to Bella Nixon telling her not to visit any more.
Following the character's exit, Patrick – who plays Colby's friend Dean Thompson – called his former co-star "one of the best actors I have ever worked with" on Instagram.
"Tim and I auditioned for Colby and Dean, and when we got the parts, we made a pact to make sure we gave it a red hot crack," he wrote.
"I didn't know him that well before Home and Away but now, to say I love him like a brother is an understatement.
"We went through so many rides together over the 3 years, shootings, weddings, detoxing, and investigations. He is by far one of the best actors I have ever worked with, and I'll only ever say this once, but I miss his hugs and his constant need for affection.
"He nailed this role and no one else could've done what he did."
Meanwhile, Courtney – who portrays Colby's sister Bella – described the scenes she and Tim shared as "magical".
"Good-bye my dear friend and big brother," she wrote. "Our scenes together were magical and our character love was true. I'll miss you laughing at me. I'll miss your hugs. I won't miss your vocal warm-ups.
"Oh, how the River family had fun. Until next time big bro, maybe when I'm the cop and you're the little sister. I adore both Colby and you loads."
In an interview, Tim expressed his surprise that Colby wasn't killed off.
"I was trying to convince [the writers] for a long time, like, I want to go out guns blazing," he said. "But when I read it, I really loved it. It's a really nice little end for Colby. He needed to pay the price at some point."
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 (Australia).
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