Big Brother Contestant Cassandra Waldon Dead at 56

Show host Julie Chen took to Instagram to pay tribute to the late former reality star.

By Corinne Heller Oct 05, 2019 7:55 PMTags
Cassandra WaltonCBS

Cassandra Waldon, the first houseguest to ever enter the U.S. Big Brother house, has died. She was 56.

The former reality star worked for the United Nations in Rome, Italy and had sustained a head injury in a car accident in the city two months ago and never regained consciousness, according to Deadline. She passed away on September 25.

Big Brother host Julie Chen took to Instagram on Friday to pay tribute to the late former reality star.

"Rest In Peace Cassandra," Chen wrote. "Your light will continue to shine in this world because of the way you lived your life: with class and grace. May your family and loved ones find solace and peace. Thank you for bringing your intelligence, warmth and wisdom to the Big Brother house Season 1. You are in my thoughts and in my prayers. May God Bless your soul."

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A day after Waldon's death, a spokesman for the U.N. Secretary-General paid tribute to her in a daily briefing.

"On a sad note, I want to extend our condolences to the family of our colleague Cassandra Waldon, the Director of Communications at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), who passed away this week," the spokesperson said. "She was a delightful and dedicated colleague and we were sad to learn of her passing."

A memorial service for Waldon is planned in her home state of Maryland for next weekend, Deadline said.

Waldon starred on the first season of CBS' Big Brother in 2000 and placed sixth out of 10. She is the second former contestant to pass away, following season two star Kent Blackwelder's death at age 62 in 2007, and the first female one.