Francis Mossman’s family have broken their silence after the Shortland Street actor tragically took his own life over the weekend.
The New Zealand-born soap star, who lived alone in Erskineville, Sydney, was found dead at the age of 33 on Saturday following a quiet battle with his mental health.
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, Francis’ family explained he had been unable to work during Sydney’s lockdown, and the extended time alone allowed ‘old scars and trauma from high school’ to resurface.
Tragedy: Francis Mossman’s devastated family have broken their silence after the Shortland Street star took his own life over the weekend. Pictured: Francis (right) with his brothers Laurence and Jeremy and their mother May
‘Recently, Francis had been struggling with the resurfacing of old scars and trauma from high school, which he acknowledged in his last [Instagram] post to the world was a pain he had endured from a young age,’ the statement read.
‘The world we face right now is a weight on many shoulders, including those in the arts who have had their livelihoods heavily impacted by Covid lockdowns.’
The post that Francis shared on Friday included a photo of him as a child, alongside the caption: ‘Who knew this boy would endure so much pain’.
The family’s emotional statement also described Francis as an ‘overwhelmingly kind and caring’ person.
The beloved actor leaves behind his long-term partner Lachlan, his mother May, his father Reginald, and his younger brothers Jeremy and Laurence.
Tragedy: Francis shared this photo to Instagram on Friday, a day before he was found dead in his Erskineville home. The caption read: ‘Who knew this boy would endure so much pain’
Love: The family statement confirmed Francis leaves behind his long-term partner Lachlan (right) his mother May, father Reginald, and younger brothers Jeremy and Laurence
‘We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Francis Mossman,’ the statement began. ‘Francis was overwhelmingly kind, enthusiastic and so very caring, making a positive impact on the lives of many who knew him.
‘He had the most infectious smile along with the most brilliant sense of humour imaginable. He was forever a big kid and with that he had the warmest most generous loving heart that lit up wherever he went.
‘Forever, he will be loved dearly and equally missed.
Tribute: Laurence Mossman recently shared an image on Facebook of the three brothers recreating a childhood photo, and wrote: ‘Didn’t see you as often as we’d like, but we’ll remember the energy, laughs, and genuine excitement when we were together’
‘He is survived by his loving partner Lachlan, and their dogs Mulder, Scully and Piper (The X-Files lives on), his mother May, his father Reginald, and his younger brothers Jeremy and Laurence.
‘Recently, he took to social media to fondly remember childhood vacations as some of his happiest memories as well as his undying love for all things Gillian Anderson.’
The family added that Francis was ‘incredibly talented and studious’, earning a Bachelor of Arts double-majoring in Drama and Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland.
They say he stayed on to acquire a Postgraduate Diploma of Arts (with Merit) and a Master of Arts (with First Class Honours), both in Film, Television and Media Studies.
‘Francis was also a qualified personal trainer and had recently started a postgraduate degree in counselling to help others who were suffering mental ill-health,’ the statement added.
The family concluded: ‘We ask everyone to respect our privacy at this time and thank all those who loved and admired Francis for their kind words of love and support.’
Talent: The family said Francis was ‘incredibly talented and studious’, earning a Bachelor of Arts double-majoring in Drama and Film, TV and Media Studies at the University of Auckland
Those who knew the actor will forever remember him as a beacon of light who had immense talent, a ‘loveable, infectious smile’ and a ‘debatable love of Hanson’.
Paul Layton, who starred alongside Mossman in web series The Horizon, told Daily Mail Australia the going has been tough for actors as he joined a chorus of industry insiders urging artists to reach out if they need help.
He said Francis’ death was yet another blow after a tragic 18 months, in which on top of the Covid pandemic there appeared to be an ‘epidemic of loss’ among actors.
‘There seems to be an epidemic of losing people in isolation these days that nobody seems to be talking about,’ Mr Layton said.
Friendship: Paul Layton, who starred alongside Mossman (pictured together) in web series The Horizon, told Daily Mail Australia the going has been tough for actors as he joined a chorus of industry insiders urging artists to reach out if they need help
‘The unfortunate thing about Franny, I think, was his good looks. They were the least interesting thing about him because he was so funny and weird and I loved it. He was such a beautiful person in every sense of the word.’
In another interview with Daily Mail Australia, Director Pierre-Nicolas Pansci recalled the moment he thought ‘caring and handsome’ Francis was battling demons underneath his happy exterior.
Pierre, who knew Francis for six years and lived in the same suburb as him, recalled seeing the actor earlier this year towards the end of summer.
‘He mentioned that he was feeling a bit off lately, but he covered it by pushing me to be more positive,’ he said of his friend.
Tragic loss: Francis Mossman’s heartbroken friend Pierre-Nicolas Pansci (L) recently revealed his final exchange with Francis (R) which made him realise he was ‘not happy’ before his tragic death at the age of 33
‘Then he said that I was “lucky to be good looking” as he found it hard to meet someone. It did hit me a bit – he was not happy.’
Pierre went on to say that he offered Francis a part in his upcoming paranormal movie, and he agreed and was ‘excited to do something different’.
He never got the chance to film his scenes.
The last time he saw Francis was a few weeks before his passing at a fruit and vegetable store, but Pierre was busy and thought he would ‘say hello next time’.
‘I felt his look has faded a bit, but I remember telling myself: “Leave him alone, that’s his personal matter what he does or feels right now,”‘ he said.
‘Adding to that, it was lockdown, so I thought – next time, I’ll text him. I didn’t. I was going to, but not soon enough.’
He added that the pandemic has undoubtedly made everything more difficult for those struggling, ‘especially for those who live alone’.
Heartache: Pierre went on to say that he offered Francis a part in his upcoming paranormal movie, and he agreed and was ‘excited to do something different’. Francis never got the chance to film his scenes in the movie
‘I constantly experience a bit of unhappiness’: Francis had also experienced heartbreak recently following the death of his five-year-old dog Hoff, who was hit by a car in May
Pierre said he hopes there will be a deeper conversation about mental health, and encourages people to check in on their friends and read into any signs of darkness – however small they may be.
There are mounting concerns that artists are struggling with extended lockdowns, with Covid uncertainty exacerbating stress and pressure on performers.
Just three weeks ago, ’90s Home and Away heartthrob Dieter Brummer tragically died after his work as a window washer dried up during the pandemic.
Another tragedy: Just three weeks ago, ’90s Home and Away heartthrob Dieter Brummer tragically died after his work as a window washer dried up during the pandemic
Francis was fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and itching to get back to work before his death.
But the lockdowns seemed never-ending and he was struggling to keep positive, particularly after the death of his five-year-old dog, Hoff, back in May.
After Hoff’s death, Francis candidly revealed he experienced regular bouts of unhappiness which were usually satiated by man’s best friend.
‘I constantly experience a bit of unhappiness, but knowing I had Hoff gave me so much comfort. I never cry, but the last two days I have been crying uncontrollably,’ he said at the time of Hoff’s death.
He’d joked in another post that he was ‘excited’ about another four weeks of lockdown while staring deadpan at the camera.
Loss: Francis’ death was announced on Saturday by several LGBTQ websites, including Queer Screen Australia and Stonewall Hotel
Heartache: Queer Screen wrote on Facebook, ‘Queer Screen was saddened to hear of the passing of actor Frankie Mossman. Moving from Auckland to Sydney in 2012, Frankie was a well-known member of our LGBTIQ+ community, appearing in numerous NZ and Australian productions’
Francis’ death was announced on Saturday by several LGBTQ websites, including Queer Screen Australia and Stonewall Hotel.
Francis was born in New Zealand, where he began his acting career on the popular soap opera Shortland Street in 2007.
He moved to Sydney in 2012, and went on to appear in the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
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Popular: Francis was born in New Zealand, where he began his acting career on the popular soap opera Shortland Street in 2007. He moved to Sydney in 2012, and went on to appear in the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand