Two-Time Survivor Castaway Keith Nale Dies at 62

Fans and friends share their tributes.

Photo: CBS

Keith Nale, the Louisiana fire captain who competed on Survivor: San Juan Del Sur and Survivor: Cambodia, has died. He was 62.

The passing was confirmed on Tuesday (April 18) by Keith’s son Wes, who also played alongside his father on San Jan Del Sur. “He passed away this afternoon. He’d been battling cancer for the past few months, and we found out about it in January,” Wes told ET Online.

Keith’s brother, Kevin, also told the publication, “A life taken way too soon. It happened so quickly. Cancer ate him up. He passed this afternoon at his home in Shreveport, Louisiana.”

During his time on San Juan Del Sur, Keith became a fan favorite due to his down-to-earth personality and underdog spirit. While the strategic aspects of the game sometimes eluded him (“Stick to the plan.”), Keith never gave up fighting to make it one day further. In the end, he made it all the way to the final four, winning three individual immunity challenges on his way there. However, he was voted out just one day before the final tribal council.

Keith’s popularity with viewers saw him voted onto Survivor: Cambodia, a second chance season featuring 20 returning players. Once again, Keith made a deep run, finishing in fifth place.

Fans and fellow players shared their condolences and tributes to Keith on Tuesday night, including Survivor: Cambodia winner Jeremy Collins, who competed with Keith in both of his seasons.

“My condolences to the Big D, Wes, Austin and entire Nale family. You will be missed Keith but your legacy will live on. Rest in power my firefighter/survivor brother,” Collins tweeted.

Kelley Wentworth, who also played with Keith in both seasons and was aligned with him throughout Cambodia, shared her memories of the beloved Survivor castaway.

“Keith – a man with the purest heart, who brought humor into moments where it was needed most,” Wentworth wrote. “I’m grateful I had the opportunity to meet Keith & share memories together on the beaches of Nicaragua & Cambodia. My heart is with the entire Nale family. This is a devastating loss.”

Check out more tributes to Keith from across the Survivor world below.


Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

2 responses to “Two-Time Survivor Castaway Keith Nale Dies at 62”

  1. I’m a little devastated to be honest. Such sad news. I really thought we would see Keith back for Heroes vs Villains 2 or some other season in the future. 🙁 Sad day

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