Bill Beckwith made regular appearances as a carpenter on the HGTV home-improvement show Curb Appeal and won over legions of fans, and on Monday his life was cut short after getting into a motorcycle accident in San Francisco.
Beckwith was riding his motorcycle when he was struck by a car and killed, police said.
He was best known to television audiences as the handsome handyman who helped people selling their homes make improvements to the exteriors.
Beckwith’s official HGTV bio noted that he learned to work with his hands at a young age:
“Born on a 60-acre vegetable farm in midcoast Maine, Bill was taught by his father to grow food, but Bill found himself drawn to working on the old structures on the property and building things in the farm’s workshop. Bill later attended the University of Montana, where he studied English and martial arts. During summer breaks he worked in the mountains of Wyoming restoring the cabins of a historic fly-fishing ranch.”
Bill Beckwith then moved to Northern California and started his own construction company, BB Design Build.
After his death, HGTV put out a statement lamenting the loss of the popular co-host.
“The HGTV family is deeply saddened by Bill’s tragic death and we mourn his loss along with his many family and friends who will miss his creativity, adventurous spirit and general love of life,” the show said Wednesday in an e-mail.
“Bill was truly a beloved and respected member of our Curb Appeal family and this loss is devastating to us,” HGTV said on the show’s official Facebook page Tuesday. “We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Bill’s family.”
A Facebook page has been set up to remember Bill Beckwith — called Billy J. Beckwith, Superstar — and on it many friends and family left messages of remembrance.
“My love: so kind, so bright, adventurous and strong,” wrote Yulia Korneeva, his girlfriend. “You are loved by so many good people! I wish you could stay with us for way longer.”
Ironically, Bill Beckwith had been in a brush with danger in October, when he came across a head-on collision and helped the people in the car. At the time, Beckwith noted on Facebook: “A solid reminder that our lives can change at any instant, and to be grateful for what I have right now.”