TRIBUTES have been paid to an Emmerdale actor who died suddenly while staying with family in the US.
Sam Gannon, 31, was travelling in California when he tragically passed away on Tuesday.
The actor's death is being investigated by police but is not being treated as suspicious.
His sister Amy Kelly, 34, said ‘’Sam was a whirlwind, a unique character to say the least.
"He genuinely cared for others and was a very sensitive soul. It is clear from the tributes we have received that he touched the hearts of so many.’’
Friend Lewis Matthews added: "Sam was a ‘real life Duracell bunny' with a seemingly endless supply of energy and love.
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"He delighted audiences with his charm, wit and his wonderful musical abilities."
Sam played horse drawn carriage coachman Kev in Emmerdale in 2019.
He starred on screen alongside Emma Atkins, who plays Charity Dingle .
Sam, from Brayton, North Yorks, also had a role in short film Talking with Angles with Cold Feet star John Thomson.
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Amy has now launched a JustGiving page to raise money to bring Sam back to the UK.
She said any extra funds donated would be put towards a UK charity supporting youth theatre.
The mum added: "Acting and theatre was a cause close to Sam's heart."
Sam leaves behind mum Angie, brothers Jason and Jordan, partner and "love of his life'" Zoe, nieces Matilda and Bethany and nephews Louis and Evan.
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