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Rudy Boesch, Survivor's oldest contestant, dies at 91

  • The retired Navy SEAL, who has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease, was one of the biggest stars of Survivor's first season in 2000, finishing in third place at age 72. Boesch became a fan favorite for his frank comments to the camera and for his close alliance with gay contestant Richard Hatch, who would go on to win the first season. "Ours was an interesting bond, Dear Rudy!" tweeted Hatch. The alliance helped Boesch last 38 days. "You and I helped open minds and undermine predjudces. While your time here has passed, you will remain loved and iconic, dear friend!" Boesch was so popular he was brought back for Survivor All-Stars in 2004. In an interview with People, Hatch added: “Rudy Boesch and I both served our country in the military: he in the Navy, and I in the Army. But Rudy also served our country as an example of honesty and open-mindedness by respectfully engaging and aligning with me, an openly homosexual man, to play Survivor on the world stage. I grew to love that cantankerous man and his family,” Hatch continued. “We are better people for having known him, and he will be sorely missed. I wish his family peace in their grieving his loss.”

    TOPICS: Rudy Boesch, CBS, Survivor, Richard Hatch, Reality TV