Iconic ‘Survivor’ contestant Rudy Boesch has died, and his co-star Richard Hatch is paying tribute to his old friend by reminiscing about their time and unlikely alliance on the show.
“Ours was an interesting bond, Dear Rudy! You and I helped open minds and undermine prejudices.. While your time here has passed, you will remain loved and iconic, dear friend!” Hatch tweeted after the announcement of Rudy’s death.
Rudy Boesch died at the age of 91. He starred on the debut season of the reality show at the age of 72. At the time, it was by far the oldest contestant.
According to reports, Rudy’s family says he died Friday night due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. His wife Marge passed away in 2008. He is survived by his 3 kids.
During his time on the show, Rudy made an alliance with the ultimate season winner, Richard Hatch.
The show highlighted the two mens very different lifestyles, and how that changed over the course of the season.
When the show launched, it was called “Survivor: Borneo” and it was a monster hit in the rating. The show’s style was used to spin off several similar shows like “The Amazing Race.” ‘Survivor’ is now in it’s 38th season.
After the his time on the firest season of ‘Survivor,’ Rudy made another appearance on the show for “Survivor: All-Stars” in 2004.
Rudy lived quite the interesting life. He was a retired Nave SEAL, who enlisted in the armed forces, in 1945, at the age of 17. Several years later, Boesch was selected as one of 50 officers to join the SEAL team.
Boesch completed two combat tours in Vietnam and earned a Bronze Star for his action. The ‘Survivor’ alum inducted into the Commando Hall of Honor at MacDill Air Force Base in 2010.
“I just hate getting old – it’s slowing me down,” Boesch said in an interview with The Virginian Pilot. “I don’t jog anymore ‘cuz my knees hurt and stuff like that. I walk a lot and I am really slowing down walking.”
Fans of the show have taken to social media to react to Rudy’s death.
“Last weekend I finished watching the first season of Survivor and fell in love with Rudy all over again. Definitely an interesting bond you two had and it’s amazing how much society has changed over the past 20 years. RIP Rudy,” on person tweeted.
Others agreed with Hatch’s sentiment about the duo teaming up on the show.
“Y’all’s connection proved why Survivor was special. We can all get along and even be friends despite any differences we may have. RIP Rudy!” a fan pointed out.
Another fan agreed, “I loved watching the bond between you two! It just goes to show that although we don’t always agree with how people live their lives, we can still be friends! You two formed a legendary alliance and friendship!”
Many fans of the show remember how Richard and Rudy’s relationship began, including their lifestyle differences. In the end, many people appreciated how it evolved.
One person said it perfectly, “Rudy started out on survivor as the Archie Bunker type. Your dynamic with him was a lesson of tolerance and acceptance to us all.”