Netflix Star Busisiwe Lurayi Is Dead At 36

Busisiwe Lurayi stand looking upset in How To Ruin Christmas 2.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Throughout the gigantic library of Netflix shows, a wide sampling of international programs has introduced audiences worldwide to some of their new favorite series. One such title is the South African comedy hit How to Ruin Christmas, which saw Busisiwe Lurayi’s Tumi spending one chaotic holiday after another with her family. Recently, the series had been announced for a third season, but that news now comes with an unfortunate caveat, as Lurayi has unexpectedly died at the age of 36.

Her passing was announced via Instagram, courtesy of Busisiwe Lurayi’s talent agency Eye Media Artists. No cause of death was given, as the statement indicated that the official autopsy report has yet to be released. Lurayi’s sudden passing on Sunday came as a shock, with the actor’s death occurring in her own home.

Outside of her Netflix stardom, the actress was known for roles on several other South African series. Her most extensive role was as Thandi on Wild At Heart, a show which followed an English family moving to set up a preserve in that very nation. American television also saw Lurayi making an appearance, as she was a guest star on the 2006 episode of ER entitled “There Are No Angels Here.” Fans of that series in particular are still mourning another loss connected to the NBC hit drama, after the recent loss of ER star Mary Mara.

An award winning talent, Busisiwe Lurayi would take home two SAFTA Golden Horn Awards during her career; her latest win being for Best Actress in How to Ruin Christmas, in 2021. As both seasons of the Netflix series saw Lurayi’s protagonist Tumi anchoring, enduring, and sometimes causing the madness that would engulf the Sello family through three to four-episode seasons, it had become her latest claim to fame. 

It's no surprise why, as when one watches the trailer to the first season, How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding, they'll immediately see the late star's talents on full display. You can check it out for yourself through the video provided below: 

There’s no word yet on how Lurayi’s passing will affect the production of How to Ruin Christmas: The Baby Shower or whether or not it’ll bump the series out of a potential slot on the 2022 Netflix TV schedule. But one could assume such news will be made available at the proper time. No matter the outcome, the series won't be the same without Busisiwe Lurayi's comedic timing and heartfelt performance.

What’s more important now is to remember Busisiwe Lurayi as a radiant talent who shone brightly on and off the screen. Her memory will do just the same, and we here at CinemaBlend would like to extend our sincerest condolences to her friends and family, during this unfortunate time of grief. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.