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Touched By an Angel Star Dead at 47

John Dye, Touched by an Angel Cliff Lipson/CBS

He was Touched By an Angel. Now he's among them.

John Dye, who starred as the Angel of Death in the long-running CBS show, passed away Monday at the age of the 47.

But what took the actor's life at such a young age?

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According to medical examiners, while no cause of death has yet been declared, they believe heart failure was to blame.

One of Dye's younger brothers, Jerre, told his local newspaper that John suffered a heart attack at his San Francisco home, and that the family had waited to make the death public until they figured out memorial plans.

Relatives also told authorities that Dye suffered from congestive heart failure, meaning his heart was unable to pump enough blood to the rest of his body. The condition often causes organ damage and fluid buildup.

Former costar Valerie Bertinelli was one of the first to publicly pay tribute to the late actor.

"Dear, sweet John Dye, rest in peace," she tweeted earlier this week.

In addition to portraying the Angel of Death from 1994 through all nine seasons of Touched By an Angel, Dye also appeared in The Young and the Restless and Murder, She Wrote.

Dye's family said that a public memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Jan. 22, at the St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Amory, Miss., the town where John was born and where his parents still reside. In lieu of flowers, they're asking fans to donate to the Amory Food Pantry, a local food bank, or the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Rest in peace.

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