Ralph Kiser, fan-favorite ‘Survivor’ contestant, dead at 56

This was a tough week for diehard fans of the long-running, hit television survival show Survivor.

According to Fox News, it was revealed last week that fan-favorite Ralph Kiser, 56, has died as a result of a fatal heart attack.

“Kiser, a farmer from Lebanon, Virginia, appeared on Season 22 of Survivor: Redemption Island in 2011. He finished eighth in the competition,” Fox noted.

LaVonda Wood, Kiser’s longtime girlfriend, confirmed the death of her boyfriend to Fox News, adding that Kiser died on Wednesday after the cardiac event.

“He was a force”

Wood summarized her boyfriend’s reputation and legacy perfectly, calling him a “force,” and a person that one can simply never forget, given his huge and loveable personality.

“I just loved him. I don’t know how I’ll live without him. He was a force to be reckoned with. He was bigger than life. He consumed the room,” Wood told Fox.

Wood worked with Kiser at the Clinch Mountain Small Animal Auction in Lebanon, Virginia, where Kiser was also a farmer. He was well-known and well-loved throughout his rural community and across the nation thanks to his television appearance.

“He smiled and loved everybody. He especially loved older people and children and he was amazing. He was like Dr. Doolittle, he was an animal whisperer. He was just incredible,” Wood added.

Tributes to Kiser

Jeff Probst, the host of Survivor, released a statement praising Kiser for his larger-than-life personality.

“The Survivor family extends our deepest condolences to the family of Ralph Kiser,” Probst tweeted. “His huge smile, his positive attitude and of course his infectious rooster crow made him one of the most likable to ever play Survivor.”

Clearly, Kiser left a lasting impression on not only his family, friends, and contestants on the show, but also on millions of fans around the world. He will be sorely missed.

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