Fan-Favorite Survivor Star Keith Nale Dead At 62

Fan favorite Survivor star, Keith Nale, has passed away from Cancer at the age of 62.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

keith nale

CBS’s Survivor contestant Keith Nale has passed away at the age of 62. According to Deadline, his son Wes said that he had been battling cancer. Nale is known for his appearances on the San Juan del Sur and Cambodia seasons of the popular reality show competition.

Survivor: San Juan del SurBlood vs. Water in 2014 was Keith Nale’s first appearance on the show, where he quickly became a fan-favorite. Nale, a firefighter, made it to the final four of the season despite not becoming a member of any long-term alliances. His frequent skillful performances in Immunity Challenges helped carry him through the season until he was voted out one day before the Final Tribal Council.

Survivor would invite Keith Nale back for the Cambodia – Second Chance season in 2015, where he also went fairly far. Nale was the 15th voted out, essentially putting him in fourth place again with there being co-runners up for the season. Nale was well-liked by fans for his humor and talent in the competition.

His appearance in Survivor: CambodiaSecond Chance proves that fans held Keith Nale in high regard, since the season consisted of returning contestants who were voted in by fans. Host and executive producer Jeff Probst said that 75 contestants were initially considered for the season. Fans could register to vote on CBS’s website and submit ballots with ten men and ten women to choose their favorites to compete.

Although Survivor opted not to release the number of votes each contestant received for the second chance season, it wouldn’t be surprising if Keith Nale was near the top of the pile. Nale was also 54 when he competed in 2015, making him one of the oldest contestants next to Terry Dietz, who was 55 at the time.

In both of his Survivor seasons, Keith Nale focused more on playing a straightforward game rather than going for deep strategic moves and alliances. His aforementioned age made his propensity for challenges even more impressive, especially as he competed against many contestants over a decade younger than him. The physical demands of the reality competition would be challenging for anyone, but his firefighter training and grit managed to propel him to nearly the final both times.

The Survivor series is currently in the middle of its 44th season, which is the twelfth season that takes place in the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. The season features 18 new players and aired its first episode on March 1. The season has aired seven episodes so far, and the eighth episode is set to air tonight.

If you want to revisit the seasons of Survivor that feature Keith Nale, you can catch those seasons streaming on Paramount+ (with some seasons also available on Hulu). As mentioned, the seasons he appeared in are the San Juan del Sur -Blood vs. Water and the Cambodia – Second Chances seasons, which are the 29th and 31st seasons of the show, respectively. The San Juan del Sur season of the show also featured Nale’s son Wes Nale as a contestant.