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Former Survivor Contestant Angie Jakusz passed away earlier this month after an extended battle with cancer. She was just 40 years old. To fans of the hit reality show, she’s probably best remembered for her colorful tattoos or for losing a key revote in Season 10. To those who knew here, however, she was an intensely creative person who lived life to the fullest and was good at a wide variety of different things.
Born Cassandra Anne Jakusz, she was only 25 years old during her time on Survivor. Despite earning the nickname No Fun Angie, she was well liked by her co-stars who chipped in and offered support after she was first diagnosed with cancer back in 2017. Unlike many of her fellow former Survivor contestants, she didn’t stick around in Los Angeles and give fame a try. Instead, the Wisconsin born Jakusz hopped around to several different places. She spent time in San Francisco and New York before eventually settling in New Orleans where she made a living as an artist and bartender in the French Quarter.
According to a local obituary posted by her family, she loved reading, painting, sewing, drawing, nail art, makeup, scuba diving, snorkeling, costuming and "just raising hell", which is an absolutely delightful list of hobbies. They also seem like the calling cards of someone who just happily did their own thing. That attitude is something her fellow cast members talked about at the time, and it's something fans who were watching at home related to. It's part of why Season 10 is well remembered by fans. Here's what her Season 10 co-star Coby Archa told People during an interview reflecting on her life...
People have to remember back in 2005 women weren't cast on Survivor with dreads and tattoos. She broke the casting barrier. Fans related to her story so much. And a lot of people wanted to see her play again for her strength. She wasn't into the fame, just the experience of Survivor. She came, she played, and she went back to her life in New Orleans. She liked her life that way.
He's absolutely right. During those early seasons, Survivor was a very different game populated by different sorts of contestants. It took unique people like Angie for the producers to realize that they should cast for a wider net of personalities, appearances and styles. Without a few key players like Jakusz, the popular reality show could look and feel a lot different today.
She's survived by her husband of nine years Steven Calandra, as well as her parents, brother, niece and nephew. Forty is way too young. Our thoughts go out to everyone who loved her and was touched by her personality. She will be deeply missed.