CBS Survivor OG Rudy Boesch Died At 91: Richard Hatch Pays Tribute To 'Dear Friend'

Survivor: All-Stars Rudy Boesch CBS

Survivor fans, we lost Rudy last night. Rudy Boesch was a U.S. Navy SEAL and competed on two seasons of CBS' Survivor, starting with the very first season ever, Survivor: Borneo, and returning for Survivor: All Stars. Gruff but lovable Rudy was the oldest Survivor player at 72 when the reality TV show first arrived in 2000. He made it to third place, clashing and bonding with the very different Richard Hatch.

According to TMZ, Rudy Boesch died Friday night, November 1, due to complications from Alzheimer's Disease. He was 91. Richard Hatch was quick to pay tribute to his unlikely friend:

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Richard Hatch ended up winning Survivor Season 1, with Rudy in third place. The Survivor OGs both returned for Season 8's All-Stars in 2003. Rudy only made it six days in that season, getting voted out second after Season 2 winner Tina Wesson. But he still had time for more classic Rudy-isms.

Survivor: Borneo was a massive hit -- and still one of the best Survivor seasons to date. Nielsen claimed 125 million people watched at least some portion of the finale in 2000. In addition to his All-Stars return, Rudy appeared on Combat Missions and as himself on the TV show JAG.

Rudy enlisted in the United States Navy in April 1945, served in Vietnam, earned the Bronze Star for heroic action, and retired from the military in 1990. He and his wife Marjorie Thomas were married in 1955 and were together for 53 years until her death in 2008. Rudy is survived by their three children.

On Saturday, November 2, "RIP Rudy" was trending on Twitter in his honor.

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Hard to believe it's 2019 and Survivor is still going strong on CBS. It was one of the first ever reality TV shows, with Rudy as one of the first "reality TV stars." Now Survivor Season 39, Island of the Idols, is airing each Wednesday on CBS and it will continue into 2020. Survivor Season 40 is expected to be another all-stars season, this time with winners.

Keep up with everything still airing on TV this year with our handy 2019 fall TV premiere schedule.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.