Suzanne Whang, most known for lending her voice to HGTV’s popular home searching show House Hunters and its spin-off House Hunters International, has died on Thursday at her home in Los Angeles, California following a 13-year battle with breast cancer. She was 56.
According to TMZ, in addition to her work as the leading lady on House Hunters from 1999 to 2007, Whang was also an actress who appeared in roles on General Hospital, Criminal Minds, and NYPD Blue.
Whang also starred on popular NBC drama Las Vegas, which ran from 2003 to 2008. She played manicurist Polly Nguyen for four seasons on the hit show.
According to the TMZ report, Whang’s endeavors extended far beyond the acting and House Hunters worlds, as she had degrees from both Yale and Brown Universities and had worked as a producer and a radio host. She was a published author and a minister.
Her partner said in a post made to Facebook that Whang hoped people would celebrate her life rather than mourn her passing.
Whang’s most notable role was on House Hunters as the show’s original host. While current fans of the show might recognize the voice of Andromeda Dunker as the narrator for House Hunters and its many spinoffs, Whang was the on-screen host in the show’s original format for nearly 10 years. Dunker took over the role in 2008. Whang hung up her HGTV hat in 2007.
Whang hasn’t taken to her Twitter account since July, but fans took to the social media platform to express condolences.
HGTV launched in 1994 but grew in popularity with shows like House Hunters and its spinoffs.
Whang’s partner, Jeff Vezain, shared the news of her death, which occurred at about 7:20 p.m. Thursday, in a post to the actress’ Facebook account late Thursday.
“Her audacious sense of humor blessed many, shocked a few, but allowed us to laugh in the face of adversity,” Vezain wrote. “She was an amazing daughter, sister, friend, mentor and advocate. As I, her family and her closest friends process her transition, we ask for your prayers and loving thoughts. We have appreciated all of the kind words and memories shared on her Facebook page. It has brought much comfort.”
In a YouTube video posted to the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health in December 2015, Whang detailed her struggles with mental health and her longtime battle with cancer.
Vezain said he and Whang’s family may not be able to respond to questions from Whang’s fans, but that he would try to keep them updated.