Legendary ‘Survivor’ Season 1 Contestant Rudy Boesch Dead at 91 After Battle with Alzheimer’s Disease

Rudy in 2010, attending the ‘Survivor’ 10 Year Anniversary Party…

The oldest contestant to ever play Survivor has died.

Rudy Boesch— a popular player from the very first season of the CBS reality TV show— died Friday night from complications from Alzheimer’s Disease, TMZ reported.

He was 91.

Rudy— who was already 72 years old when he arrived in Borneo to play the game in 2000— did not win the grand prize that season. (That went to Richard Hatch, in case you’ve forgotten.) He ended up finishing in third. The retired Navy SEAL returned to the game in 2004 for the “Survivor: All-Stars” season, at the age of 75. He ended up being voted out second that season.

While Rudy never won the big money on ‘Survivor,’ he did make frequent appearances in the early 2000s at ‘Survivor’-related events. He was also chosen to be featured on the ‘Survivor’ slot machine game with other game favorites.

His most-important accomplishments, though, were during his years in the Navy. TMZ reports that Rudy joined the Navy in 1945 and quickly volunteered for “secret hazardous duty.” He was one of the first 50 officers of the original SEAL Team Two. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic action during his service in the Vietnam War.

Many ‘Survivor’ favorites remembered Rudy on social media on Saturday, including “Boston” Rob Mariano (who is appearing on the current ‘Survivor’ season) and host Jeff Probst.

(Photos: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Twitter)


  1. Terrible just terrible, an absolutely horrid disease. My grandma has dementia and it is just awful to see how fast she has gone downhill.

    I have often wondered what the difference is between dementia and Alzheimer’s. I’ve looked it up, but I can’t make sense of what the difference is. Can anyone tell me?

  2. This breaks my heart! I absolutely fell inlove with Rudy on season 1! It didn’t matter if you agreed with what he was saying, he had this way about him that made you adore him anyway! I remember when it got to the final 3 and they had to answer a bunch of questions about the island and every answer was like “I don’t know” lol! He was a great guy and for some reason I have been wondering about him a lot these last 2 months. My 💜 & 🙏 go out to his children and his wife, Marge, has her hubby back.

    R.I.P., Rudy!! You will truly be missed by us all!! Thank you for the entertainment you brang us on Survivor!! You will never be forgotten!! And most importantly – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!! 😿🙏✝💔🇺🇸

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