Rudy Boesch Dead: 'Survivor' Contestant Dies At 91

Rudy Boesch

He became one of the first Navy SEALS in 1962 and earned a Bronze Star for heroic action during the Vietnam War. When he was on the show, Boesch was 72, making him the oldest Survivor competitor to ever play the game in all 39 seasons.

Survivor: All Stars alum Rob Cesternino remembered Boesch for his "unique combination of brutal honesty and a razor-sharp wit" and Tina Wesson, the Survivor: Australia victor who also appeared on Survivor: All Stars, confirmed his passion for his wife and the military. His closest confidante Hatch sent out a heartfelt tweet for his late friend, saying, "Ours was an interesting bond, Dear Rudy!".

In 2000, Boesch was one of the first contestants cast on Survivor. The final contestant who remains on the show is awarded a prize of $1,000,000.

Rob Cesternino, who appeared on Survivor: All-Stars and was Boesch's roommate during a post-show trip to Argentina, also wrote about the 91-year-old.

It read: "It is with a broken heart that we inform you that Master Chief Rudy Boesch passed away last night".

Following the tragic news, Survivor alum reacted to Boesch's passing.

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"I grew to love that cantankerous man and his family", Hatch added.

Rudy Boesch will be truly missed by his family, fellow castaways and the millions of viewers who tuned in to watch Borneo.

"I read an article and it had the word challenge", he said.

"What you saw on TV is exactly the man he was", Wesson told PEOPLE.

"Rudy passionately loved two things: his wife and the military", Wesson continued. "Because none of us could do what he did at his age!" Survivor Gabon contestant Dan Kay died in 2017, and Survivor: China's Ashley Massaro died of suicide earlier this year.

Hours after the announcement of Boesch's death, the Survivor community of alumni and fans alike have written tributes to the legendary player.

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