Just days before his death, things were finally starting to look up for Dieter Brummer.
Aware he was struggling financially, an old mate had offered the Home and Away heartthrob some much needed work.
‘Thanks for getting me on board,’ Brummer excitedly wrote on Facebook.
Since giving the small screen the flick, Brummer, 45, had turned his hand to high-rise window washing and this job on a prestigious apartment building in Sydney’s CBD was the lifeline he needed.
‘I am looking forward to a future working high above Covid which is “apparently” “ravaging” Sydney.’
But the July 15 message of thanks to his mate, complete with a picture of a bearded Brummer nestled among the city’s skyscrapers, would tragically be his last.
Just two days later, on July 17, the NSW Government paused all construction in greater Sydney for two weeks, in a desperate – and failed – bid to arrest a surge in cases of the Indian Delta variant.
The lockdown was a devastating blow for Brummer, who took his own life at his parent’s Glenhaven home, in the city’s north west, on Saturday, just one week after the restrictions were announced.
‘He was really excited and really grateful about the job,’ his grieving employer, who has known Brummer for two decades, told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The lockdown took the wind out of his sails.’
Final photo: A bearded Dieter Brummer posted a ‘thank you’ Facebook post to his new employer on July 15 – but just days later he was out of work when the NSW government announced a pause on all construction in greater Sydney
One of Brummer’s last posts, thanking his friend of two decades for hiring him. His new boss said he was ‘really excited and really grateful’ for the opportunity – but it was derailed by the state government’s construction lockdown
Brummer (left, and right with Melissa George) became a household name for his role as Shane Parish on TV soap Home & Away. He was found dead at his parents’ home in Glenhaven, age 45, last Saturday
As his ‘Plan B’ career after TV fame, Brummer ran a window washing business and worked as a rope access technician. Above, a picture by friend Chris Cooper, who remembered him for the ‘good laughs and silly times’ they had ‘hanging off buildings all around the world’
Brummer is the one of tens of thousands of workers who have been prevented from making a living by the city’s crushing lockdown measures.
Sydney is the first city in Australia to pause construction since the pandemic began. The building industry only starts again tomorrow, but not in eight LGAs in west and south-west Sydney that are the subject of tighter lockdown measures.
Daily Mail Australia understands Brummer was told he could access financial support from the state government, but was frustrated by the process.
‘It was the last straw,’ a close friend claimed.
The revelations come as the household name’s grieving mother, Dawn, told Daily Mail Australia of the powerful legacy Brummer will leave behind for others battling depression.
Dawn Brummer, 84, said her struggling financially when approached on Friday. Mrs Brummer said she is coping with her grief by writing a memoir about her son to help others battling mental health issues.
‘The lockdown thing took the wind out of his sails
Brummer’s last employer, speaking to Daily Mail Australia
‘At the moment I am writing a book on his life, all the details of his frame of his mind will be included in that.’ she said.
‘His friends are helping me. And I’m hoping that the book will help people who are suffering from a depressed state of mind.
‘That’s filling my life now, I’m just writing, writing, writing.’
Mrs Brummer is being supported by family ahead of her son’s funeral.
Loving family: Dieter Brummer’s sister Karlene (left) shared this moving picture of the siblings together as children. Grieving mum Dawn Brummer (right) said she is filling her life with a book about her son Dieter and his struggle with depression
Late Home and Away star Dieter Brummer is seen more recently in an interview with the Seven Network. He was named Australia’s ‘favourite actor’ in the 90s
Brummer’s oldest friend Rob,returned to his Glenhaven home in Sydney’s north (pictured) last week to begin the devastating task of sorting through his belongings
Brummer was found dead on Saturday after police were asked to perform a welfare check. His parents refused to return to their home in the days after they heard news of their son’s death.
The ’90s heartthrob’s oldest friend, Rob, returned to his Glenhaven home in Sydney’s north on Tuesday to begin the devastating task of sorting through his belongings.
Rob tearfully told Daily Mail Australia that Brummer was the brightest, most intelligent person he’d ever known.
He said Brummer’s death was still too raw to talk about, but that he understood why it had broken the collective hearts of a generation of Aussies who grew up with posters of the teenage Home and Away heartthrob ‘Shane Parrish’ Blu-Tacked to their walls.
‘My wife had (the posters) too growing up,’ he said.
Rob met Brummer when he was 11 – four years before he was cast in the television soap – and said from the outset he ‘was just the best mate’.
‘I can’t say anything other than that he was the greatest person I knew. Intelligent, bright, just so good.’
Brummer’s closest friend Rob told the Mail he couldn’t say anything more about him except ‘that he was the greatest person I knew. Intelligent, bright, just so good’
Brummer brought so much to his role as Shane Parrish between 1992 and 1996 on the long-running soap that it took industry experts months to fill the void after he left.
Danny Rizk was working at Mullinars – the casting agency which gave Brummer his big break – when word spread that he’d been written out of the show.
‘They had to find an alternate,’ he said. ‘It took the respected unit at Mullinars four and a half months and over 7,500 auditionees to fill that void.
‘Of all the deaths in the creative services business, this one has unnerved me… To anyone reading this, mental illness is not a hoax.
‘It is significant on every border because it truly eats away at one’s core.’
Brummer appeared in a total of 557 episodes of Home and Away, winning Most Popular Actor at the Logie Awards in 1995 and 1996.
Brummer went on to score several guest roles on Neighbours (pictured), Underbelly and Medevac
Brummer appeared in a total of 557 episodes of Home and Away, winning Most Popular Actor at the Logie Awards in 1995 and 1996
The following year, Heath Ledger would appear on the show in a guest role. He enjoyed a similar cult-like following from fans before going on to find international fame with the movie 10 Things I Hate About You.
Brummer, meanwhile, scored several guest roles on Neighbours, Underbelly and Medevac.
He traded it all in for his window-washing career, once revealing he preferred the solitude of the gig in comparison to waiting tables or bar tending between roles.
‘The good part about it is I don’t have to deal with people too much,’ he said in 2009.
‘If I was pulling beers I would have to put up with guys saying: ”Oh you’re pulling beers now and you used to be in Underbelly”.’
But a source told Daily Mail Australia he was particularly reflective in recent years of ‘what could have been’ if his career had followed a different trajectory.
He traded it all in for a career washing windows, once revealing he preferred the solitude of the gig in comparison to waiting tables or bar tending between roles. Pictured with co-star Melissa George
Brummer questioned whether he would have gone on to have industry success if he’d never been cast as Shane Parrish, and felt restricted by his role in such a successful series
His dream was to always return to acting at some point.
Brummer wondered whether he would have gone on to have industry success if he’d never been cast as Shane Parrish.
He felt restricted by his role in such a successful series.
‘You get typecast. It’s hard for producers or casting agents not to remember. I’m still ‘that bloke from Home And Away’ 20 years later,’ Brummer once said.
‘Sometimes you sit back and think, ‘I wonder what it would’ve been like if I didn’t get that job at 15?’
Daily Mail Australia understands his parents were not home on Saturday, and have not yet returned to the property
His family released a statement on Monday farewelling the ‘handsome, talented, funny, complicated and beloved Dieter’
Pictured: A headshot of Dieter Brummer
His family released a statement on Monday farewelling ‘handsome, talented, funny, complicated and beloved Dieter’.
‘He has left a massive hole in our lives and our world will never be the same.
‘Our thoughts go out to all of you who knew him, loved him, or worked with him over the years.’
His best mate Rob said of all the ways Brummer has been remembered – a hard worker, talented, a heartthrob – the most important should be that he was simply a good man, through and through.
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 or beyondblue.org.au
Beyond Blue’s coronavirus support service: 1800 512 348 or coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au
Headspace: 1800 650 890 or headspace.org.au
A source told Daily Mail Australia he was particularly reflective in recent years of ‘what could have been’ if his career had followed a different trajectory
Pictured: Dieter Brummer at the “127 Hours” Australian premiere in February 2011