Keith Nale Dies: Two-Time ‘Survivor’ Contestant Was 62

Keith Nale on Survivor

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.”

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.”

Check out more tributes below.