Keith Nale, two-time Survivor contestant, has died at the age of 62 following a brief fight with cancer, according to reports.
The reality TV star’s son Wes Nale confirmed to Entertainment Tonight in a statement that his father had died after battling the disease for a few months.
“He passed away this afternoon,” Wes said.
“He’d been battling cancer for the past few months and we found out about it in January.”
Keith’s brother Kevin added: “A life taken way too soon! It happened so quickly. Cancer ate him up. He passed this afternoon at his home in Shreveport, Louisiana.”
Keith, who worked as a firefighter, rose to TV fame having first appeared on Survivor: San Juan del Sur, where loved ones were pitted against one other.
Keith featured alongside his son Wes back in 2014 and made it to the final four.
In an interview with UpRoxx in 2014, Keith opened up about what it was like to compete in his 50s.
“They were impressed, being I was 53,” he said of his firefighter colleagues. “Now granted that’s not 93, but that’s not 23 either.”
“They were all behind me, a great bunch of guys. They wanted me to win it and, you know, bring it home to Louisiana. But that just didn’t happen.”
Such was his popularity among fans of the show that Keith was chosen from a group of ‘castaways’ to return to compete in a “second chance” season: Survivor: Cambodia.
The 62-year-old finished in fifth place after being eliminated shortly before the final Tribal Council. Keith had stated that one of the main reasons behind his being on the Survivor show was to spend more time with his son.
Needless to say, fans were quick to pay tribute to the former firefighter, whose self-professed hobbies included hunting, fishing, and golfing.
One Twitter user wrote: “Devastated to hear of the passing of Keith Nale, a truly iconic Survivor character. His uniqueness, entertainment & hilarity were pivotal to a golden era that solidified my super fandom. I’ll always look fondly on his place in the show’s history & its family. Rest well Keith“
A second said: “Loved watching you #KeithNale. May you be always be remembered as a legendary #Survivor by those who love the show. My most sincere prayers for your family.“
“Rest in peace keith nale, what a wonderful human being i will forever be inspired by him,” a third added.
A fourth lamented: “Keith Nale was one of my favorites, rip king I hope you are on a cruise or driving a tuk-tuk you said survivor isn’t fun…..but you definitely helped make it fun.“
Rest in peace, Keith Hale! And thanks for the memories.
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