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Survivor star Ralph Kiser, remembered for his rooster crow and finding a Hidden Immunity Idol that sent veteran player Russell Hantz out of the game has died at the age of 56.

Ralph Kiser looking off-screen during 'Survivor: Redemption Island'
‘Survivor’ contestant Ralph Kiser | Monty Brinton/CBS/Getty Images

‘Survivor’ star Ralph Kiser dead from a heart attack

In a Facebook post published on April 20, 2022, Survivor superfan Michael Allbright revealed that former contestant Ralph Kiser “unexpectedly” died at 56 from a heart attack.

He named Ralph’s brother, Gilbert, as his source, who wanted “to let the Survivor community know.”

The CBS Twitter page later acknowledged Ralph in a post accompanied by a picture of him on the island, writing, “The Survivor family extends our deepest condolences to the family of Ralph Kiser. His huge smile, his positive attitude, and of course, his infectious rooster crow made him one of the most likable to ever play Survivor. We are all so sorry for your loss.”

He competed on ‘Survivor: Redemption Island’

In 2011, the then-44-year-old farmer from Lebanon, Virginia, followed his dream of competing on Survivor, as noted in his CBS biography, when he competed on season 22’s Redemption Island.

Memorably, Ralph found the Hidden Immunity Idol and conspired with his alliance to throw the next challenge so they could get rid of returning player Russell Hantz. It worked, handing Russell his first elimination in three seasons. However, the tribe went on a losing streak, ultimately having to vote out one of their allies.

Even though the majority voted Sarita White out, Ralph wrote David Murphy’s name down, as he didn’t trust him. After reaching the merge in the minority, the farmer incorrectly played his idol as he tried to maintain numbers. The majority alliance began seeing him as a threat and successfully targeted him, sending him to Redemption Island.

Although Ralph won his first duel, he eventually became the fourth member of the jury. The Virginia native then voted for Phillip Sheppard to win the game, presumably due to compliments at the Final Tribal Council, handing the memorable player second place. Additionally, it prevented Rob Mariano from having a unanimous win, as he secured the victory in an 8-1 vote.

The Survivor community also recently lost Sunday Burquest

In April 2021, Minnesota-based youth pastor Sunday Burquest died from esophageal and ovarian cancer at 50. She competed in season 33 Millennials vs. Gen X, the oldest woman to do so, and formed strong connections with the majority of her tribemates.

However, the alliance with her original tribe Takali blew up, forcing her to find others to work with after the merge.


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She and her new allies began taking control of the game after a rock draw went in their favor but were delegated to the minority again when Will Wahl defected. Sunday made it the furthest of her allies, ultimately placing seventh.

Other Survivor players who have died include Jenn Lyon (Palau), Angie Jakusz (Palau), Caleb Bankston (Blood vs. Water), B.B. Andersen (Borneo), Dan Kay (Gabon), and Borneo finalist Rudy Boesch. Survivor 42 airs Wednesdays on CBS.