Keith Nale Dies: Two-Time ‘Survivor’ Contestant Was 62
Keith Nale, who competed on Survivor two times, first on Season 29, Survivor: San Juan Del Sur, and then on Season 31, Survivor: Cambodia, has died. He was 62.
Nale’s son Wes, who participated alongside his father on Season 29, confirmed the news on Tuesday (April 18), telling ET Online, “He passed away this afternoon. He’d been battling cancer for the past few months, and we found out about it in January.”
“A life taken way too soon,” added Nale’s brother Kevin. “It happened so quickly. Cancer ate him up. He passed this afternoon at his home in Shreveport, Louisiana.”
A fire captain from Louisiana, Nale quickly became a fan favorite when he first appeared on Survivor in 2014. He often struggled to make alliances and adapt to the strategic aspects of the game, but he won people over with his Southern charm and underdog spirit.
Despite being a target throughout his first season, Nale won three individual immunity challenges and made it all the way to the final four before being voted out just one day short of the final tribal council.
Nale was so popular with viewers that they voted him back onto the show to play again in Season 31, a second chance season that allowed Survivor fans to select the cast. Nale again often found himself outside of the majority of alliances, but he never gave up, ultimately finishing in fifth place.
Survivor: Cambodia winner Jeremy Collins, who played with Nale in both of his seasons, shared his condolences on Tuesday night, tweeting, “My condolences to the Big D, Wes, Austin and entire Nale family. You will be missed Keith but your legacy will live on. Rest in power my firefighter/survivor brother.”
My condolences to the Big D, Wes, Austin and entire Nale family. You will be missed Keith but your legacy will live on. Rest in power my firefighter/survivor brother. #RIPOtis pic.twitter.com/K2f8sMfYHm
— Jeremy Collins (@jeremy2collins) April 19, 2023
Kelley Wentworth, who also competed on both of Nale’s seasons and was aligned with him at various points in Season 31, posted her memories of the beloved castaway.
“Keith – a man with the purest heart, who brought humor into moments where it was needed most,” Wentworth wrote. “I’m grateful I had the opportunity to meet Keith & share memories together on the beaches of Nicaragua & Cambodia. My heart is with the entire Nale family. This is a devastating loss.”
Keith – a man with the purest heart, who brought humor into moments where it was needed most. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to meet Keith & share memories together on the beaches of Nicaragua & Cambodia. My heart is with the entire Nale family. This is a devastating loss 💔 pic.twitter.com/FHPnrmKx5a
— Kelley Wentworth (@kelleywentworth) April 19, 2023
Check out more tributes below.
#Survivor needed Keith Nale. Someone who was wholeheartedly himself, whether it be getting spooked by idols, taking up a side hustle driving “to-to’s,” or reminding us the fun of cruises. RIP to a character who gave us 75 days of entertainment. My heart goes out to Dana & Wes❤️ pic.twitter.com/2YrEcSnShh
— Mike Bloom (@AMikeBloomType) April 19, 2023
Keith Nale was the first Survivor I ever interviewed on location. Seeing him in the Cambodian wild was truly surreal. I tried to capture some of that giddy feeling in my Second Chance profile. Posting for anyone who could use the read. Rest in peace Keith. https://t.co/9awzmYfY3g
— Josh Wigler (@roundhoward) April 19, 2023
#Survivor RIP Keith Nale. May the fishing be good, and may everything else be more like a cruise. pic.twitter.com/g8u55U0mnD
— Jeff Pitman (@truedorktimes) April 19, 2023
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 ♥️
— Shannon Guss (Gaitz) (@ShannonGaitz) April 19, 2023
RIP Keith Nale. Survivor and Louisiana legend. Thoughts to his loved ones 💔https://t.co/JrUoS8Dkek pic.twitter.com/90xLPvq2Xe
— Owen Knight (@TulaneOwen) April 19, 2023
rest in the sweetest peace, Keith Nale 💕
thank you for all the smiles, all the laughs, and all the amazing #Survivor memories we got to share with you.
this one is my personal favorite: pic.twitter.com/Itk4gBsMFf
— Abigail Adams (@itsabigailadams) April 19, 2023
Our Survivor family lost another Survivor today. Two years to the day after losing our sweet Sunday Burquist, we now say goodbye to Keith Nale, who passed away this afternoon from cancer. Such a heartbreaking loss! I hate cancer. https://t.co/X54xw5Ansn
— Leslie Nease (@LeslieNease) April 19, 2023
Keith Nale made everything more fun, and I’m grateful I got to know him. pic.twitter.com/tlmRIcIG4O
— Max Dawson (@fymaxwell) April 19, 2023
Lord my heart is absolutely broke over Keith Nale. I sure hate to hear of his passing. I looked up to him so much while getting back into Survivor during Second Chances! He was a pleasure to meet in person as well. One of my faves. 💔
Sending my condolences to the family,…
— Donathan (CBS Survivor) (@donathanhurley) April 19, 2023