Which ‘Big Brother’ Houseguests Have Died?

Over the years, fans have laughed and cried and conspired with some of the greatest players in the Big Brother game. The competition reality show lets viewers spy on houseguests as they compete for the $500,000 grand prize. In addition to the weekly shows, fans can get a closer look into the lives of the contestants by subscribing to the show’s live feeds. With the constant live feeds, fans can often feel like they have really gotten to know the show’s stars.

Because of this connection, it can feel heartbreaking when someone from the cast passes away. Sadly, there have been a few deaths of former contestants. Let’s take a look at some of the players we have lost over the years.

Kent Blackwelder

Blackwelder appeared on season two of the CBS reality show. He was known for his close friendship with openly gay houseguest Bill “Bunky” Miller. The two had a close friendship that continued outside the house despite Blackwelder’s strong conservative views and admitted homophobia.

The former contestant died on Dec. 24, 2017, at the age of 62. A family member posted that Blackwelder died unexpectedly. No further details were released about his death.

Miller wrote that he recently had the opportunity to visit his friend at his Tennessee home. He wrote in part, “I never dreamed this would be the last time I would see Kent. My heart is broken. Kent and I were 2 completely different men who built a bridge. And Kent came a lot farther across that bridge than me. Thank you for your love, respect, and friendship, you Old Fart. Love, the Big Homo.”

Blackwelder is the only U.S. contestant to have died so far.

Jade Goody

Goody appeared in season three of the U.K. version of Big Brother. She later appeared on season five’s celebrity edition. During her time on the show, Goody was constantly embroiled in controversy. The reality star was never afraid to say what was on her mind, but sometimes what she said was viewed as racist. At one point, she earned the title of “most hated woman in Britain.”

In 2008, Goody was diagnosed with cervical cancer. At the time she was appearing on the Indian show, Big Boss. Her breakdown when she found out the news was caught on camera. 

Shortly before her death, Goody married her boyfriend of four years, Jack Tweed. Tweed proposed on Valentine’s day and the couple was married at Down Hall County House Hotel. The event was broadcast on Lifetime Television and covered by OK magazine. Goody lost her battle to cancer on March 22, 2009.

She is survived by her husband and two children. Her death brought attention to the disease, and after her diagnosis, screenings for the disease increased by one third.

David Gest

Gest appeared on the celebrity U.K. version of Big Brother. Gest was a producer, TV personality, and ex-husband to American actress Liza Minnelli. The Daily Mirror says that while in the U.S. he was best known as Liza Minnelli’s husband, in the U.K. Gest “carved out a successful career as a reality star contestant.”

During his time in the house, one of his houseguests thought that he had died during his stay. Gest had become ill while competing on the show. Fellow houseguest Angie Bowie told another houseguest, Tiffany, that her ex-husband — she was referring to David Bowie — had died. Confused, Tiffany broke into hysterics thinking that it was Gest who had died.

Sadly, Gest died a few months after the in-house mix-up, at the age of 62, on April 12, 2016. He was found dead at his London hotel room after suffering a stroke.