46 Years Old Actress Found Dead At Her Home

The model, actor, TV presenter and jewellery creator Annalise Braakensiek has been found dead in her Sydney unit.

Police said a woman’s body was found at a Potts Point unit on Sunday afternoon after concerns were raised for her welfare.

She was yet to be formally identified and there were no apparent suspicious circumstances, a police spokeswoman said.

A postmortem examination will be held to determine the cause of death.

Braakensiek, 46, was an ambassador for R U OK? and had been open about her experience of depression following the loss of two close friends to suicide and the death of her grandfather all within a short space of time.
Braakensiek was 16 years old when she was scouted by a photographer on Sydney’s Bondi Beach, and went on to become an international model. She was a regular on the cover of Inside Sport magazine and also appeared on the covers of US Cosmopolitan, Loaded in the UK and Maxim in Italy.

She was the face of brands including Guinness, Nivea, La Perla, Lee, Levi’s and Toyota.

In the late 1990s, Braakensiek appeared in episodes of the TV series Home & Away and Heartbreak High. From 2000 to 2007, she played Claudia Macpherson in the SBS comedy series Pizza.

Braakensiek also worked closely with the Starlight Foundation, Cancer Council and Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre.

In 2017 she spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald about being “immobilised” by a “dark cloud”.

“Very few people asked me ‘was I OK?’ And when I did say [I wasn’t], they ran.

“I was so shocked by the reaction of so-called friends – the aggression, the lack of support. That’s when I really realised the negative stigma with mental illness is rampant. People have that real ‘what have you got to be depressed about?’ [attitude].”

In November, Braakensiek wrote on Instagram about her mental health struggles.

“Mental health has so so many misconceptions, criticism, misunderstandings and false judgments still!! We have to break the silence on mental health because it happens to the best of us. (And in the worst situations),” Braakensiek posted alongside an R U OK image.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have helped me though my dark clouds …. now I’m strong enough to help my loved ones who unfortunately are not in the best place right now. But we will get through this!”

In December in an Instagram post, Braakensiek alluded to a difficult year, writing: “Hanging in there by the hair on my chiny chin chin. Sheesh it’s been a challenging year for so many of us, am I right?!?! My biggest challenge was not having my own home (for a year now).”
In April 2018 she split with her husband of 16 years, the stockbroker Danny Goldberg. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, she wrote in an Instagram post at the time that was subsequently deleted: “I don’t know if a broken heart mends or learns to live in pieces.”

A statement released on Monday by R U OK? said the organisation was “devastated to hear of the loss of much loved and respected” Braakensiek.

“We are still processing the news we have heard today. Annalise has been a huge voice for suicide prevention in Australia,” the chief executive, Brendan Maher, said in the statement.

“Nothing we have ever asked of Annalise was too much, she has stepped up time and time again to share our message, even when she was going through her own tough times. We couldn’t have asked for a more genuine, kind and sincere spokesperson.”

Australian actor and fellow Pizza star Rob Shehadie also paid tribute to Braakensiek on Twitter.

“So sad and gutted to hear about the passing of Annalise Braakensiek, she was an amazing person. I will always cherish the great memories we had on the set of Fat Pizza and on tour. God rest your soul Annalise,” he tweeted.

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