Almost 600 castaways have competed to win Survivor over its 40 seasons. Eight of those contestants have died in the nearly 21 years since Survivor aired its first episode.
Some of these deaths are more tragic than others but they’ll all be missed by Survivor fans.
In this video, we’re going to pay tribute to all the castaways we’ve lost. Be sure to stick around until the end to find out what Survivor’s plans are for the 41st season. The COVID pandemic threw a wrench in the gears for the next group of castaways but Survivor has some interesting plans in place to make the next season something special.
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B.B. Andersen was a castaway in Survivor’s first season, all the way back in the year 2000. He was 64 years old when he competed in the original season, “Survivor: Borneo.”
He passed away in 2013, at the age of 77, after a battle with brain cancer according to the Kansas City Star newspaper.
His obituary paid tribute to his life by saying, “Bigger than life with a heart to match, B.B. had an unmatched zest for life.”
It went on to say, “ A world traveler and avid sportsman, B.B. was a lover of fine cigars, fine wine, close friends, and good political debate.”
His wife Jan, daughter Alexandra, and sons Mark, John, Todd, and Darren were left with many great memories of their husband and father.
Caleb was a contestant in the 27th season, Survivor: Blood vs. Water. He played the game in 2013 with his partner, Colton Cumbie.
Tragically, Caleb was killed only a year later in a train accident at the young age of 27. According to CNN reports at the time, a railway spokesperson said he was killed when a coal train derailed in an accident.
A statement from the Federal Railroad Administration stated, “Once completed, our investigation will identify the root cause of the accident, and we will take all appropriate enforcement actions.”
Cumbie and Bankston were planning to marry in October 2014, only four months after the accident. Cumbie told the University of Alabama newspaper, The Crimson White, that “Caleb was my everything.”
Survivor host Jeff Probst released a statement at the time of Caleb’s death that read, “The entire Survivor crew is together in Nicaragua. We are shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of Caleb.”
The statement continued, “He was one of the most humble and likeable contestants we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with on the show. A true gentleman. He will be missed by so many. We extend out most sincere condolences to his family and to his fiancé, Colton.”
Rudy Boesch set two Survivor records for being the oldest contestant to play the game. First, when he played the first season, Borneo, at 72 years old and again when he returned for the all-stars season at 75.
Rudy dies in November 2019 at 91 years old after dealing with complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. Probst released a statement at the time saying, “The Survivor family has lost a legend. Rudy Boesch passed at the age of 91.”
Probst went on to say that Rudy was one of the most iconic players in the history of the game and was a fan favorite.
Rudy also had the distinction of serving our country as a Navy SEAL, making him a true American hero as well as a small-screen hero.
Cassandra Anne “Angie” Jakusz played in the 10th season, Survivor: Palau. According to a GoFundMe page set up to assist with medical costs, Angie passed away in January 2021 after a courageous battle with a rare form of squamous cell colorectal cancer.
Jakusz took 13th place on “Palau” as a member of the ill-fated Ulong tribe. By the end of the season, that tribe had dwindled down a single member, Stephenie LaGrossa.
Angie is the second castaway from Survivor: Palau that has died in the intervening years. Jenn Lyon died in 2010, which we’ll get to shortly.
Dan Kay was a castaway in season 17, Survivor: Gabon. Kay died at the age of 40 in late 2016.
His girlfriend at the time, Jennifer DiPietro, stated they were not going to release the cause of death but the Brookline, Massachusetts, police department indicated they had no reason to suspect foul play.
Dan was survived by two young children, his daughter Reese and his son Jackson. Shortly after his death, Probst posted on Twitter, “I just heard the very sad news about the sudden loss of Dan Kay of Survivor: Gabon. The Survivor family sends our love to Dan’s family.”
Jenn Lyon was the other contestant from the 10th season of the show, Survivor: Palau, that has passed away. She holds the unfortunate distinction of being the first castaway to pass away.
Jenn died at the age of 37, in 2010, after battling breast cancer for the previous 5 years. She attended a Survivor reunion party just a few weeks before her death that was held in honor of the show’s 20th season.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Probst said it was a wonderful night and a poignant farewell.
Probst said, “The Survivor reunion party offered Jenn a great chance to reconnect with so many people from the Survivor family. It was a great night and even though the party was crazy, we arranged a back room, away from the madness, where Jenn could hang out and talk with friends.”
Probst went on to say, “She looked absolutely stunning that night. Certainly, a lot of that is because Jenn was always a beautiful woman, but there was a spirit inside her that night that was palpable. It was clear to me that she knew this was a goodbye.”
Probst indicated that they connected in a way they never did before in the years leading up to her death. They reconnected a couple of years before the reunion and become close.
Lyon shared her highs and lows with Probst, as well as the decisions she and her family had to make about her cancer treatment. She was very open about the scary parts of dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis.
Ashley Massaro was a castaway on season 15, Survivor: China. She was already well-known for her career as a professional wrestler in the WWE when she joined the Survivor cast. Her wrestling debut was in 2005 as part of the WWE Diva Search.
Massaro died in May 2019. The Suffolk County medical examiner did not release the cause of death, citing privacy laws, but sources told TMZ at the time that she died by suicide.
According to reports from CNN, Ashely wanted her brain to be donated to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research after her death. CTE is a result of repeated head injuries and can lead to memory loss, mood swings, rage, and suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, it can’t be diagnosed in a living person.
Massaro’s daughter, Alexa, is her only remaining family. She was 18 at the time of her mother’s death.
Cliff Robinson was a former NBA All-Star who played in season 28, Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty (also known as Survivor: Cagayan). Robinson passed away in August 2020 at the age of 53, after a battle with Lymphoma.
He was survived by his mother, sister, three brothers, and six children.
When Robinson died, Probst wrote, “To have Cliff Roberton, an NBA All-Star, play Survivor was a personal highlight for me. And he was one of the classiest people to ever play the game.”
Probst went on to say, “He treated the other cast members and the entire crew with grace and respect. My condolences go out to his family.”
After more than two decades on the air, it’s inevitable that some of the contestants who played Survivor would have passed away. Particularly some of the older castaways from the early seasons, a couple of whom went on to live long lives after their run on the show.
That doesn’t make it any easier to accept for fans of the show though. Especially if one of your favorite players passed away.
But modern technology makes it easy to go back and watch highlights from your favorite seasons so those castaways will never be forgotten. Between streaming services offering older seasons and many fans uploading highlight clips to YouTube, you can revisit those memories whenever the mood strike.
And while the COVID pandemic put Survivor’s plans on hold for a while in 2020, they hope to starting filming season 41 in the Spring of 2021. That would put the premier date sometime in the Fall of 2021 so if all goes well, we’ll have a new cast of players in a few months.
We might see them in a new location too. Every season since 33 has been filmed in Fiji but because Fiji has some strict travel restrictions in place due to COVID, Survivor is looking at alternative locations for its next season. So stay tuned, your next Survivor fix isn’t far off.
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And be sure to leave a comment below to let us know which of the castaways in this video you’ll miss the most.
In our “Survivor” deaths photo gallery above, we take a moment to remember all of the people who we've lost over the years, including most recently Roger Sexton, Clay Jordan, Ralph Kiser and Sunday Burquest. Their torches will live on forever in our hearts. Roger lost his long battle with Lewy Body Dementia at age 76.Is Caleb from Survivor dead? › Is BB from Survivor still alive? ›
At the age of 64, he was the second oldest player in Borneo, but also one of the most abrasive. One of the contributing factors to his elimination was saying that he wouldn't mind if he was voted out, making him an easy first pick for his tribe. B.B. passed away in 2013 after a battle with brain cancer.Who is the most successful Survivor winner? ›
Sandra Diaz-Twine is the best Survivor winner by virtue of being the first player to win the game twice. Her victories in Pearl Islands and Heroes vs. Villains were hard-won, happening thanks to her ability to consistently and clearly read the intentions of others and her willingness to act upon that fact.Do they give condoms in Survivor? ›
Using protection. According to Koth, who premiered on the series early on in the Amazon, one of the medical pack necessities is condoms. While it might not show on the series, some contestants go beyond the network television standards to forge a new relationship.Did the lead singer of Survivor died? › Who from Survivor has gone to jail? ›
|Television||Survivor: The Australian Outback Survivor: Philippines (Co-runner-up)|
|Conviction(s)||November 18, 2016 (jury trial, possession of child pornography) November 21, 2016 (no contest plea, larceny by conversion)|
|Criminal charge||Possession of child pornography, larceny by conversion|
The last player left hanging on would win. After over 5 hours, Katie Gallagher dropped out of the challenge. The challenge went on for 11 hours and 55 minutes, making it the longest challenge in Survivor history.Is Evie on Survivor a man? ›
Evie, a transgender woman, is one of the players on Survivor. She is a transgender woman, so here's everything you need to know about her family and her gender identity. Evvie Jagoda is one of the 18 people who took part in Survivor 41, which was broadcast live.Does Survivor Give tampons? ›
Elaine Stott of “Survivor: Island of the Idols” shared that production asks contestants to submit necessities in advance, which are then locked away in an off-camera medical box in the woods. The box can include items such as tampons, contact lenses, sunscreen, bug spray or medicine.
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S. In 2006, Hatch was convicted of tax evasion and served 51 months in prison. Hatch served another nine-month sentence in 2011 for a probation violation. TV Guide included him in its 2013 list of "The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time".Who is the least liked Survivor winner? ›
"Bob Crowley is one of the single worst winners just on a results-oriented basis. He had such an abysmal FTC performance which really showed just how truly bad of a social and strategic player he was," says Reddit user SnowRadish.Do survivors get paid? ›
Survivor pays all contestants, or castaways, who make it to the final tribal council, and typically each receives around $10,000 for the reunion show. The third-place winner can tack on an additional $85,000 (before taxes), with the second-place adding an extra $100,000.Has a black person won Survivor? ›
Towery was the first African American contestant to win Survivor, succeeded by Earl Cole of Survivor: Fiji, Jeremy Collins of Survivor: Cambodia, Wendell Holland of Survivor: Ghost Island and Maryanne Oketch of Survivor 42.Has anyone been pregnant on Survivor? ›
Georgia, a forensic psychologist from Noosa, Queensland, had no idea she was pregnant when she went on the intense reality show.Who slept together on Survivor? ›
While competing on Season 13 of Survivor, Candice and Adam quickly hooked up before being separated when the four tribes merged into two.Do people sleep on Survivor? ›
You literally get no sleep at all. You just lay there because you're getting poured on.Do they let them brush their teeth on Survivor? ›
Okay, but do the Survivor contestants get toothbrushes? The cast learns to get inventive in order to brush their teeth. Hannah Shapiro, runner-up on the 33rd season of Survivor and contributor to Men's Health, told Mic that the contestants brush our teeth with bamboo while they're on the island.Did Sue from Survivor All Stars Sue? ›
Sue stated she considered filing a lawsuit against CBS but decided not to pursue legal action because the network helped her “deal with the situation.”Why did Survivor Dan get kicked off? ›
People was one of the first to reportedly confirm that the removal was tied to a touching incident that followed another challenge, where Spilo touched a member of production inappropriately while getting onto a boat off-camera.
Several people got up and left when Maas told the crowd they had to be U.S. citizens to qualify. But convicted felons were no problem. “If you have a criminal record, it's OK,” he said. “Just put it down on the application and give us a little synopsis.What disqualifies you from being on Survivor? ›
All contestants must be United States citizens and be living in the United States. All contestants must be in excellent physical and mental health. All applicants must authorize Producers to conduct a background check.Do Survivor jury members get paid? ›
Jon Dalton (aka Jonny Fairplay, of "dead grandma lie" fame) told TMZ that jury members are awarded $40,000 and the first person voted off gets around $3,500, while Today reported that the first person to get voted off receives $2,500.Who had the highest IQ on Survivor? ›
Jeff Probst confirmed that David has the highest IQ of any Survivor contestant, at 144. David is the first person to lose a Redemption Island duel and become a member of the jury.Who's the youngest Survivor player? ›
SALT LAKE CITY — BYU student Sami Layadi is the youngest-ever contestant on the popular reality TV series “Survivor.” He says he's confident he will be the youngest person ever to win the series. Layadi is just 19 years old, one year younger than the TV series itself.What is the most viewed episode of Survivor? ›
Today, Survivor: The Australian Outback, episode 1, “Stranded,” which originally aired Sunday, July 28, 2001. Survivor: The Australian Outback's first episode is the most-popular premiere in the show's history.Did Sarah get pregnant on Survivor? ›
At the Cagayan Reunion Show, Sarah announced that she was six months pregnant with her first child. Sarah gave birth to her son, Knox Wade, on August 22, 2014.Can you be on drugs on Survivor? ›
To make sure each cast member is physically up for the challenges, the show requests medical information from contestants. Including all medications. Vital medications are allowed, but the show's medical team needs to be informed beforehand.Who broke the hourglass in Survivor 42? ›
As a result, the challenge winners had to go to Tribal Council, while the losers, including Erika, would be immune. In the end, Erika broke the hourglass. And spoiler alert, it looks like the twist, which many fans and contestants were not fans of, is back for Survivor Season 42.What happens if a girl is on her period on Survivor? ›
According to multiple "Survivor" players, getting an extra pair of underwear is rare, even if you're on your period. But it's not unheard of. Stott said she was able to change her underwear on "about day 30" after she lost a visible amount of weight.
"Survivor" stopped providing swimsuits to players in 2018, and the change comes with health risks. UTIs and other infections from wet, dirty clothes disproportionately affect people with vaginas. Several contestants have told Insider about their experience and concerns over sanitary conditions.What do female naked and afraid contestants do when they have their period? ›
Aka it's terrifying. Producer Mathilde Bittner told Reality Blurred that contestants have asked for Snickers bars, cake and sandwiches, but the crew doesn't oblige. According to contestant Alison Teal, she was given a tampon when she got her period while on the show. Phew.Which Survivor did not pay taxes? ›
He ultimately won, netting $1 million in winnings. But federal prosecutors, working with the Internal Revenue Service, accused Hatch of evading taxes on his prize and other earnings, including rental-property income. A federal jury convicted him of not paying the taxes he owed on about $1.4 million.Do survivors get paid per episode? ›
Survivor cast pay has increased over time
The updates have seen the first individual booted out of the reality TV show earning $3,500, while the runners-up make $110,000. Another interesting thing about the reality TV show is a standard check of $10,000 for appearing in the live finale where the winner is announced.
Do Survivor contestants get fresh water? What is this? As to water: Yes, they boil water, and yes, clean water is provided.How did Annie's brother Caleb died? ›
— -- Doctors confirmed today that Caleb Logan Bratayley died of an undetected heart condition called Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to Caleb's mother Katie.Is Caleb Logan Leblanc alive? › What was the hardest Survivor season? ›
Season 3: Africa
Africa is arguably the most brutal season in Survivor history. It was set in Kenya, and the contestants were forced to deal with the country's dry climate and hot environment. They were also literally forced to stay awake and stand guard against dangerous wildlife like lions.
The Players Really Don't Shower
All they get is a bit of a dip in the ocean from time to time. They do get to keep things like feminine hygiene products, contact lens solution, birth control, and prescribed medications, but no toothpaste, soap, or razors, nothing that they could use like that.
Insider spoke to "Survivor" contestants about how their one outfit is chosen for the show. Competitors typically have to wear the same set of clothes and underwear for up to 39 days. Players find creative ways to clean their outfits, like boiling clothes and using hand sanitizer.
Can Survivor cast members bring or wear whatever they want? No. While cast members bring their own clothes to the location, producers select what they take to camp, ensuring that the cast will be wearing camera-friendly colors. Among those prohibited items include shirts or caps with corporate logos.Is Survivor scripted? ›
Is 'Survivor' scripted? In short, Survivor is not scripted. With that being said, we all know how reality TV works. Some situations are dramatized in the editing room (it's their job!) and more lackluster portions of the players' stay on the island may be cut out.Did Ozzy from Survivor win any money? ›
He did, however, win the $100,000 Sprint Player of the Season prize over Cochran, who came in a distant second. Lusth was also the last member of the original Savaii tribe and set a Survivor record in being voted out three times in one season.Has there ever been a deaf person on Survivor? ›
That is what Christy Smith was up against when she became the first deaf contestant to compete on reality television with her appearance on Survivor: The Amazon.Who is the most loved person on Survivor? ›
Cirie Fields is possibly the most beloved contestant to ever play and not win the game of Survivor. She also competed in four seasons starting in 2006, with Survivor: Panama - Exile Island.How many people have dropped out of Survivor? ›
Trivia. There have been a total of 16 quits on Survivor.Has anyone on Survivor been attacked by an animal? ›
Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Brooke Struck on surviving crocodile attacks in Guatemala.Do Survivor losers get paid? ›
Survivor pays all contestants, or castaways, who make it to the final tribal council, and typically each receives around $10,000 for the reunion show. The third-place winner can tack on an additional $85,000 (before taxes), with the second-place adding an extra $100,000.Who is the smartest Survivor? ›
James Lim (Ghost Island)
Though he was eliminated before the merge, James had a reported IQ of 150 with a squiggle next to the results, meaning that he answered extra credit questions. The business analyst from New York was also a track captain at Harvard University.
That being said, the stars of Survivor are paid on a sliding scale. ABC News reported that during season 1, Rudy Boesch received $85,000 for coming in third while fourth-place contestant Sue Hawk was prized $70,000. Comparatively, Jenna Lewis was eliminated mid-season and walked away with a reported $27,000.
Amanda literally got into a brawl to try to save herself on "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains," but she ended up getting her torch snuffed for the very first time in three seasons of playing "Survivor." Having set the record for being the first person ever to play the game for 100 days, Amanda is now on the jury.Has anyone been disqualified Survivor? ›
Appearances. An ejection, also known as a disqualification, or expulsion, is a rare method of elimination in Survivor. So far, only one contestant has been officially ejected from the American version of the show.What was the most serious injury in Survivor? ›
In a terribly dramatic scene from the premiere of Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Pat Cusack seriously injured his back while returning to camp after an immunity challenge. The boat ride back was hit by inclement weather, resulting in very rough and choppy water.