Gone Too Soon Reality TV stars are different than typical celebrities. They rack up fans for being themselves, gaining an audience for their larger-than-life personalities. But reality isn’t as dramatic as scripted TV, but can be just as sad.
Some of the most shocking deaths of beloved reality TV stars occurred years ago, but fans are still reeling from sudden losses. Steve Irwin, better known as the “Crocodile Hunter,” put himself in harm’s way countless times, only to be tragically killed by a typically docile fish, a stingray, while filming a special. Although his passing occurred in 2006, fans continue to think of him fondly and even celebrate Steve Irwin Day on November 15.
It’s hard to accept those accidental deaths—such was the case with Irwin—but many other deaths have taken fans (as well as friends and family) by surprise. celebrities like top boss favorite Fatima Ali passed away at 29 after a battle with cancer; Diem Brown, best known for appearing on MTV Real world, had beaten cancer twice, but succumbed to the disease when it returned for the third time at the age of 34. Both helped shed light on young adults battling cancer. They both spoke candidly about the time they had left and stressed the importance of enjoying each day.
Reality shows have always been at the forefront of entertainment. The first game show to air, Queen for one day, issued in 1945; for context, the first american sitcom, mary kay and johnnyaired in 1947. By 1948, humans wanted to see more unscripted television and Indiscreet camera It went from being a radio show to a TV show and the first TV talent shows aired the same year, long before American idol.
While some may roll their eyes at reality TV, there’s no doubt that the shows and their stars have touched many people, whether it’s making viewers think more deeply about the world around them, teaching fans how to be more open with others or just give someone in need a good laugh.
Reality television, unlike scripted entertainment, is unique in that the stars feel like someone the fans know in real life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or thinking about suicide, call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To honor those we lost, keep scrolling for the most heartbreaking celebrity deaths on reality TV.