Hugh Sheridan shares heart-wrenching tribute after death of best friend

His words will break you 💔
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Aussie actor Hugh Sheridan has said his final goodbyes to his “best friend,” Imelda, who passed away yesterday.

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Taking to Instagram, the 35-year-old shared the news with his 116k followers along with a collection of beautiful photos of the pair in happier times.

“In my essay published a little while back I mentioned ‘Love has always come in so many different forms to me,'” he began the lengthy post. “I love people who inspire me. Not all love is sexual, and I don’t think people always understand that.”

Hugh went on to explain that he loves “many people for many different reasons” and is only interested in connecting on a “human level.”

“More often it was love of the mind, the heart, the way in which we look and understand each other, the long laughs, uncontrollable laughs, the advice and care we give and are given.”

“Today my best friend Imelda Blackwell, with whom I shared this love, passed away,” he continued. “I met her when I was 8, having a sleepover with my friend, her grandson. I guess he fell asleep watching Aladdin and I went to the kitchen to have a tea with Imelda. We stayed up and talked for hours and hours, the start of a beautiful friendship.”

“The start of a beautiful friendship.” Hugh and Imelda have known each other since the actor was 8. (Credit: Instagram)

Just a few days earlier, the Packed To The Rafters star had visited Imelda and read her his essay – a moment he believes was an “important” one in their “long, supportive history” together.

“We both shared a tear as I read, as we knew time isn’t always on the side of such unique friendships. I miss you Imelda, I always do, but you promised me when you left the physical world you’d be all around me,” he concluded the post. “I could use your physical hug right now, but the courage, memories and joy you gave me I will forever treasure and share. Farewell my friend and give Paul a hug from me. X.”

Best friends: Hugh and Imelda shared an unbreakable bond. (Credit: Instagram)

Many of his famous friends weighed in on the post, sending the star their thoughts and well-wishes.

“So wish I was with you to give you the biggest of hugs sweetheart. You are a brave, kind, wondrous soul and a light to everyone who knows you. Love you to the moon 🌝 ❤️❤️❤️🙏🏻” wrote his former co-star Rebecca Gibney.

“Wow darling, sending you all my love 💋💋,” added Home and Away’s Georgie Parker.

It’s been a trying few weeks for Hugh, who recently found himself at the centre of social media backlash after his upcoming stage show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, was postponed following an open letter from transgender activists.

The Queer Artist Alliance Australia slammed the casting of Hugh as “offensive”, before saying the lead role of Hedwig Robinson should have been given to a transgender person.

The Queer Artist Alliance slammed Hugh’s casting as “offensive.” (Credit: Instagram)

“The choice to cast a cis-gender male as a transgender character is offensive and damaging to the trans-community, and continues to cause genuine stress and frustration amongst trans- and gender- nonconforming performers all across Australia,” the group wrote at the time.

“It is unquestionable Hugh is a talented and deserving actor… it is not appropriate for a cis actor to be the gatekeeper of a trans story.”

Over the weekend, the Daily Mail Australia reported that Hugh had been hospitalised in Sydney following treatment for his mental health. This came just after Hugh revealed he was attracted to both men and women in a candid first-person essay published in Stellar magazine.

“In many ways, I wish I didn’t have to write this, but I feel a responsibility to others who may come after me,” he shared in the piece.

“People will read this and say, ‘He’s not coming out. He’s bisexual. He’s asexual. Or non-binary. Or queer. Or fluid.’ There are all these words that didn’t exist when I was younger and maybe if they had, they would have helped.”

“But the fact that these labels keep popping up indicate there must be a lot more people out there who feel how I feel – like the words still don’t fit. Maybe this is also my way of letting people know that I’m still single, and everyone is on the smorgasbord.”

In a follow-up interview with The Daily Telegraph, Hugh said he was touched by how much support he had received since putting pen to paper.

“I’ve honestly been completely overwhelmed with how many people really related to what I was saying, especially about taking your time and not having to pick a label straight away,” he said, adding that his inbox had been flooded with direct messages on social media.

“I’m slowly responding, but some are very emotional, it’s quite a lot to take in so soon after opening up.”

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