Survivor Contestant Dan Kay Is Dead At 40

survivor dan kay

While 2016 was widely known for being an especially difficult year in regards to celebrity deaths, it should come to no surprise that 2017 has already taken someone who millions of fans are familiar with. In this case, a young contestant from the groundbreaking CBS reality show Survivor has unfortunately passed away.

Dan Kay, from Survivor: Gabon has died at the age of 40. Kay apparently died on New Year's Eve, although the details are all rather sparse for the time being. While no official statement has been made by the family regarding Kay's sudden death, an obituary and funeral arrangements have been made. Kay is survived by his two daughters, as well as his mother and siblings.

In the wake of this sudden loss, Survivor host and producer Jeff Probst took to his personal twitter to address Dan Kay's death. Addressing the larger Survivor community, as well as Dan's loved ones, Probst said:

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Dan Kay was a castaway in Survivor: Gabon, the 17th season of the hit reality competition show. The season aired back in 2008, and was set in one of the most desolate and harsh environments in the show's history: Gabon, Africa. Rather than a tropical island with coconuts and well water, Kay and his fellow castaways were landlocked, dirty, and without clean water for the show's run. Kay was eventually voted out on Day 21, finishing 11th out of 18 survivors.

While Dan Kay wasn't able to make it to the merge and the end game of Survivor, he wasn't without his shining moments. In addition to being a strong physical player, Kay also had plenty of screen time relating to his social anxiety and paranoia while in the game. This led to a few amusing scenes, although he was ultimately voted out, saving Susie. Susie would later go on to be an unlikely finalist, making Kay's vote out a very significant one for his former alliance members.

Unfortunately, Dan Kay is the fourth Survivor contestant who has passed away during the show's 17 year run. In 2014 Survivor: Blood Vs Water contestant Caleb Bankston in a railway accident. Additionally, Survivor: Palau castaway Jenn Lyon passed away after a battle with breast cancer in 2010, and original cast member B.B. Anderson died from brain cancer in 2013.

Our thoughts are with Dan Kay's loved ones during this difficult time.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.