Actor Ian Somerhalder has paid tribute to the Tv executive who gave him his first big break, Joe Voci, following his death over the weekend (07-08Feb15).

Voci passed away in New Jersey on Saturday (07Feb15), aged 51, following a long battle with brain cancer.

At the beginning of his career, he oversaw production on Tv comedies The Wonder Years, Designing Women and Murphy Brown, before becoming an executive producer on shows including High Society, Young Americans and Rude Awakening.

The Vampire Diaries actor landed his first major acting job with a part in Voci's Young Americans, and he mourned the Tv mogul's loss in a post on, writing, "My heart hurts. A man whom helped give me my first Tv show - the start of my career has gone. Rest Joe Voci - I love you."