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Pawn Stars' Chumlee Looks Totally Different After Losing Weight With Gastric Bypass Surgery

Chumlee screenshot from an episode of Pawn Stars 2019
(Image credit: History)

Austin Lee Russell, AKA Chumlee, rose to fame more than a decade ago as the reality TV series Pawn Stars became popular on History. His “character” or personality on the show has often been seen as goofy, a little lazy and the comic relief in the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, though he's had some troubles outside of the show. These days though, he’s gotten in shape and he feels it’s “important to be who you are.” 

Honestly, if the new looks at Chumlee were not being shared on his official Instagram account, I’m not sure I would even recognize the Pawn Stars personality. Not only has he lost a lot of weight, he simply looks a lot more stylish than I’ve ever seen the star -- though it’s worth noting that typically when I’ve seen Chumlee he’s been in the black Gold & Silver Pawn Shop uniforms that everyone in the shop wears. 

Those polos are not particularly flattering. Still, with the weight loss, the bright shirt and the hair, it’s quite the transformation. 

In the post, Chumlee also notes, “It's important to be who you are.” Separately, for a long time he’s noted he's dealt with struggles, including his weight, which sometimes waffled around a 100 pounds or more. A couple of years ago, he made the decision to take his health more seriously. At the time he weighed 350 lbs and he says gastric bypass surgery was the right fit for him. 

He told TMZ that the reason he ultimately opted to go for the gastric bypass surgery rather than losing the weight on his own was that he did not feel confident he could keep the weight off. The years of yo-yoing reportedly took a toll on him. This time, however, he says he had a “support structure” and also the surgery helped him to lose the weight and keep the weight off. 

Following his 2019 surgery in Las Vegas at the Blossom Bariatrics center, the reality star has lost a bunch of weight; in fact, he's ultimately down a whopping 160 lbs. He’s looking slim and fit at 190 lbs these days and seems committed to a healthier lifestyle in general now. In fact, he's been sharing posts about living with a more positive bent for months now. 

As for Pawn Stars, the History series has been running since 2009 and has led Chumlee to outside appearances and even a business where he sells merch related to the show. As for the History series? It returned after a Covid hiatus in August of 2021, its 19th season on the air, though the biggest story related to the show that came out during the pandemic had to do with Rick Harrison's quiet divorce. We’ll let you know if any more news related to the show breaks.   

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.