On Saturday night, tattoo artist and reality TV personality Scott Marshall called his wife from his tattoo shop in Chicago. Marshall said he wasn’t feeling well enough for the 40-minute drive home and decided to crash at a Holiday Inn.
The next day, Scott’s wife Johanna tried to call him, but he didn’t pick up. Not long afterward, two police officers came to her door with unexpected news, TMZ reported. Scott was found dead in his hotel room.
“He just went to sleep and didn’t wake up,” she told the Chicago Sun Times. “It was very unexpected. A very unexpected loss.”
A preliminary autopsy has determined that Scott died of an unidentified heart issue. Marshall’s brother, Christopher, identified the cause as “heart failure” that “we never knew about.” Mrs. Marshall said that her husband of 11 years didn’t have any risky or unhealthy habits.
Scott’s death is still under investigation, but for now, police don’t suspect foul play. Marshall was only 41-years-old.
Marshall did freelance work at Roselle Tattoo Co. in Chicago but gained a bit of fame for appearing on, and winning, Season 4 of Spike TV’s Ink Master, Variety reported. Scott won the $100,000 grand prize and beat fellow artists Walter “Sausage” Frank and Matti Hixson.
Frank and Marshall had a contentious relationship on-air, but following news of his death, all past grievances were put aside, the International Business Times reported.
“Even though we had differences… Scott is an amazing dad & a phenomenal artist. You’ll be missed,” he wrote about Scott.
Similarly, Spike TV reached out to the family and praised Scott during his time on the show.
“Spike and the entire Ink Master family are stunned and saddened by the news of Scott’s passing. (Marshall) was a great competitor and talented artist. Our deepest condolences go out to the Marshall family and friends.”
The show’s host, Dave Navarro, also reached out on Twitter to share his condolences with Scott’s family.
Though Scott was rather cocky and vulgar on the show, his family said that his real-life personality was warm and loving, and he was a devoted father to his three young children.
“He knew how to make each one of those kids just shine. This man was such a beautiful soul. I knew I could feel the love — not just him saying he loved me.”
A native of Glendale Heights, Scott Marshall showed artistic talent at a young age, according to his brother. Scott’s family said he loved to ride his motorcycle and hang out at a local pizza joint, Tommy’s Red Hots. Marshall was also a music lover and musician, with a love for metal bands and Rush.
“He was a great drummer,” his brother said. “If it wasn’t for the tattooing, he could have easily been a professional musician. Scott would make the backdrop, airbrush everything and create the posters for the shows.”
Marshall attended Chicago’s American Academy of Art in 1998 and got his first tattoo a year later. His brother said that once Scott realized he could tattoo — and do it well — he was hooked. Tattooing even led Scott to his wife, Johanna.
They met when she came into Roselle Tattoo; Scott tattooed a sword going through a rose on her leg as they “started talking and laughed,” she recalled.
Fellow Ink Master competitor Jim Francis said Scott wasn’t brash or cocky in real life, but “loved his kids. He loved having fun and laughing all the time.”
Scott’s leaves behind many family members, including his wife and another brother, Jeffrey; three kids, Nadya and Abrielle, a stepson, Victor; and his parents, Beverly and Gregory Marshall.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Scott Marshall as owner of Roselle Tattoo Co. in Chicago.
[Photo Via TMZ YouTube Screengrab]