Netflix Star Dies Without Warning

A popular Netflix star has unexpectedly and mysteriously died, just as they seemed ready for international success.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

Netflix Busisiwe Lurayi

The star of Netflix series How to Ruin Christmas, Busisiwe Lurayi has died. The tragic news was confirmed in a statement by the 36-year-old’s family via the actress’ talent agency. “We are deeply saddened to notify you of the passing of our beloved Busisiwe Lurayi. Busisiwe passed away suddenly and was pronounced dead at her residence on Sunday (July 10th) by medical personnel,” the Johannesburg-based Eye Media Artists said on Instagram.

The Netflix star Busisiwe Lurayi’s cause of death is still unknown as her family is still awaiting the results of the autopsy report. Busisiwe Lurayi is survived by her daughter, who was featured on the actress’ Instagram account two weeks ago. Eye Media Artists indicated that her loved ones are still trying to come to terms with the tragic news. They also thanked everyone for their support and promised to provide more information as soon as it has been made available.

The first season of her Netflix showHow to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding debuted in 2020, Deadline reports. The story followed a family rebel, Tumi Sello (Busisiwe Lurayi) who begrudgingly joins her dysfunctional family for the first Christmas holiday in years. But it’s not the merry return of the prodigal daughter everyone was hoping for. She manages to ruin her younger sister’s wedding before it even happens, and spends the rest of her vacation frantically trying to get things back on track.

Although the South African Netflix original only consisted of three episodes, it was picked up for a second season called How to Ruin Christmas: The Funeral, with Busisiwe Lurayi, set to reprise her role. This time the family is brought together when Gogo Twala dies. But comedic chaos ensues as they try to organize her funeral. Her son wants it to happen on Christmas Day but newlyweds Beauty and Sbu Twala are not happy with the date, as it falls on their first wedding anniversary.

After becoming a sleeper hit for Netflix in the United States, due to its “traditional crazy family at the holidays” story with a different cultural perspective, the Busisiwe Lurayi starrer was renewed for a third season called How to Ruin Christmas: The Baby Shower. The streamer made the announcement in a social media post last month, saying that the series was already in production.

 While she was mostly known for the festive Netflix series, Busisiwe Lurayi’s other screen credits included the South African sitcom City Ses’la and its spinoff Ses’Top La, the drama series Wild at Heart, and a 2006 episode of ER. She also appeared in South African TV shows Vutha, S.I.E.S, and Sokhulu and Partners II, People reports.

In 2021, she won the South African Film and Television Golden Horn Award for Best Actress in a TV comedy for her role as Tumi in Netflix’s How to Ruin Christmas. Busisiwe Lurayi won the same award in 2011 for her work in City Ses’la, which also earned her the SAFTA Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Comedy in 2006. Following the news of her death, social media was flooded with tributes from fans.