Actress Busisiwe Lurayi, the star of Netflix’s comedy series How to Ruin Christmas, has passed away aged 36.

Lurayi, a prolific stage and screen actress known as Busi, died at her South African home over the weekend.

Her sudden death was confirmed in a statement shared on the official Instagram account of her Johannesburg-based talent agency, Eye Media Arts.

“We are deeply saddened to notify you of the passing of our beloved Busisiwe Lurayi,” the statement read.

“Busisiwe passed away suddenly and was pronounced dead at her residence on Sunday [July 10, 2022] by medical personnel.”

The cause of her death is still unknown, according to the statement.

“We humbly request that you allow us as the family to come to terms with this tragic news,” the statement continued.

“We thank you for the support that has been given so far and will provide further information as soon as it has been made available.”

Lurayi was best known for her role as Tumi Sello in How to Ruin Christmas, which earned her the SAFTA Golden Horn Award for Best Actress in a TV Comedy in 2021.

She also starred in various South African shows, including City Ses’la, which she received the SAFTA Golden Horn Award for Best Actress in a TV Comedy for in 2011 and the SAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2006.

Lurayi was also known for her roles in the shows Ses’Top la and Wild at Heart, and guest-starred in an episode of ER in 2006.

Tributes to Lurayi have poured in since the news of her passing, with fans, Netflix South Africa and the SAFTAs praising her as an “incredible light” and “brilliant actor”.

“An incredible light has gone out in the South African entertainment industry. We are deeply saddened by the passing of award-winning stage & screen actor Busi Lurayi. We will hold onto the laughs, the beauty & the moments of joy she brought us,” Netflix South Africa tweeted.

“At this time of loss, we are deeply saddened by the passing of #BusiLurayi. We’ll remember her as an incredibly talented actress who was a winner of her first #Safta for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Comedy in 2006,” the SAFTA’s wrote.

One fan replied: “She was remarkable. Condolences to her family🙏🏽.”

Kgopolo Phil Mphela, a South African celebrity commentator, wrote: “RIP: Busi Lurayi. The prolific Stage & Screen actress has passed on.”

“I remember Busi Lurayi from City Ses’la that’s where I fell in love with her, she was a brilliant actor she will definitely be missed,” another fan said.

“Sad to hear about Busi Lurayi’s passing,” celebrity blogger and TV presenter Lelo Boyana wrote. “She was an incredibly talented artist, one of the best we’ve had, and I’m glad we gave her flowers while she was here.

“Sending love and comfort to friends, family and colleagues 🕯️🙏🏽.”

Image: Twitter

This article first appeared on OverSixty.