For the first time in 17 years, the Big Brother family has lost one of its own. Kent Blackwelder, one of the houseguests from Big Brother 2, passed away on Saturday, December 23. He was 62 and is the first U.S. Big Brother contestant to pass away.

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Kent was a standout personality from the show’s second season in 2001. He was the oldest man on the season and didn’t shy away from being opinionated. His most lasting moment may have been his controversial comments on what he dismissed as “alternative lifestyles.” But in an unexpected twist, his fellow HG Bunky, who was gay, became Kent’s closest friend.

Bunky even took to Facebook to eulogize his friend, talking about their unlikely friendship and how great Kent was.

Kent finished in seventh place on Big Brother 2, voted out unanimously one week after winning HoH. In the 17 years since Big Brother debuted in the U.S., over 250 people have competed on the show, and Kent is the first one to die.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.