Multiple media outlets are reporting that Big Brother 2 alumnus Kent Blackwelder has died at 62. The news of his passing has resulted in an outpouring of love and support from Big Brother fans on social media, including Kent’s BB2 castmate, Bill “Bunky” Miller.
A family member of Kent’s posted a message on social media indicating the former BB2 houseguest had passed away “unexpectedly,” but did not elaborate further on his death, according to Reality Blurred.
IClick-TV, however, is reporting that Kent died on Saturday night of “an apparent heart attack.” The site also writes that Kent is the first of the Big Brother U.S. family to have died.
In addition, IClick-TV included a Facebook post from Kent’s daughter Maddy Blackwelder, who confirmed her father’s passing. She went on to write he had a “heart of gold” and was “truly… the most interesting and funny man in the world.”
Maddy went on to thank fans for their many “thoughts and prayers,” and promised to let everyone know about an upcoming memorial service for her father. She ended her post with a loving message to Kent, saying, “I will love you and miss you forever daddio.”
On Sunday, Bunky posted a message about his fellow BB2 housemate, saying he had visited Kent and his family years ago at their home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Then, just two months ago in October, he paid a visit to them again, calling the meeting a “great reunion.” Bunky noted that he had an abundance of “love and laughs” with Kent and his family and was “so proud and honored” they were in attendance with him at a concert put on by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’s Lavender Pen Tour in Knoxville.
Bunky went on to lament that he “never dreamed” that the October meeting would be the last time he would ever see Kent, saying his “heart is broken.” He noted that he and Kent were two very different men, however, they had “built a bridge” and come to respect and love one another in the process.
The woman responsible for casting Big Brother, Robyn Kass, took to her Twitter page when she was made aware of Kent’s death, writing the news was “very… sad.” She sent love to Kent’s family, adding the hashtag #foreverBBfamily.
Big Brother Canada star Neda Kalantar also tweeted about Kent, saying the news of his passing was “devastating.” She called Kent “such a gem” and emphasized he had one of the most impressive “character/human growths on bb2.”
During his stay in the BB2 house, Kent was somewhat of a controversial character who openly spoke of his homophobia, but then became a close ally of Bunky, who is gay. Kent came to appreciate and understand Bunky, which created the bond they had until Kent’s death.
Kent came in seventh place on BB2, and although he disliked the clique called Chilltown consisting of Dr. Will Kirby and Mike “Boogie” Malin, in the end, Kent voted for Dr. Will to win the grand prize, which Will ultimately did.