Known for his larger-than-life personality and inseparable bond with professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, the Rob & Big star died from a heart attack at 45-years-old in May 2017. Members of his MTV family paid tribute to the former bodyguard, remembering his unique sense of humor and family-first ideals.
The Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County star, 27, succumbed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound while on a desert trip with friends in March 2017. After the reality series end in 2007, Adler—who aspired to work in the entertainment industry—went on to book television roles on Make It Or Break It and The Fish Tank.
At only 23, the 16 and Pregnant alum was found dead of a presumed overdose in 2016. Fairman's years-long struggle with substance abuse was documented on her season, and in 2015 she was arrested on charges of prostitution. Valerie is survived by her 7-year-old daughter, Naveah.
The stunt performer, who helped form the casts of Jackass and Viva La Bam, perished in a 2011 car accident. Dubbed by friends as the "Random Hero," Hollywood mourned Dunn's sudden passing. Co-star Bam Margera told E! News at the time, "He was my best f--king friend in the world. It's been five days now and I can't stop crying man."
The Road Rules and The Challenge star lost her battle with colon cancer in 2014 at age 32, after surviving two rounds of ovarian cancer in years prior. Brown's loved ones rallied around her through the ups and downs, and former co-stars paid tribute to her after her death with an emotional MTV special, We Heart Diem, which highlighted her passion for life and dance.
Tragedy struck the Real World franchise when a member of its 2004 San Diego season passed away at 25-years-old in 2007. She had long suffered from cystic fibrosis, and her appearance on The Real World raised awareness about the chronic lung disease. Abernathy memorably left mid-season because, in her words, "I guess I'm just a little too punk rock for this."
HIV-positive Zamora's participation in The Real World in 1994 humanized the disease for audiences at home and made a lasting impact on the LGBT community for decades to come. He passed away at 22 from complications from the disease only hours after the season's finale aired.
In 2014, the star of The Real World: New Orleans and The Challenge, 28, was found dead from an accidental overdose at a residence in Wisconsin on Thanksgiving Day, two weeks after close friend Diem Brown's passing. Knight's girlfriend and co-star Jemmye Carroll penned an open letter to her "soulmate," and continues to pay tribute to him on social media.
Fans of The Real World will remember Sasser from his relationship with Pedro Zamora and their televised commitment ceremony on the series. He kept Zamora's legacy alive by continuing to bring awareness to AIDS up until losing his fight against mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lungs, in 2013 at the age of 44.
A castmember of Buckwild, the 21-year-old and two others were found dead from accidental poisonous carbon monoxide fumes filling their in 2013. In the wake of Gandee's unexpected death, who MTV described as "sociable and loyal," the network cancelled the series, which followed young adults living in rural West Virginia.
In 2002, the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader who appeared on the third season of Road Rules died in a three-car collision. She was 27. "Michelle had a spirit about her that just pulled you in," MTV producers said in a statement. "She was one of the nicest, most genuine people to ever be on one of our reality shows. We will all miss her terribly."
Wilmer Valderrama's co-host of Yo Momma committed suicide after jumping off a bridge at age 40 in 2015. Valderrama expressed his grief in a heartfelt statement, touching upon Sarpong's greatest characteristics: "Sam did it all, believed in dreaming bigger than anyone around him. We made memories together that will last us forever, thank you for sharing your talent with me and the world..."
The extreme sports star and frequent figure on Nitro Circus died at age 39 in 2015 after suffering injuries sustained in a freak skydiving accident. His close friends remembered Roner's zest for adventure, sharing, "It's about doing what we love and inspiring other people, and that's what Erik was about. In Erik's mind, living any other way was a waste."
The Real World: Hollywood star left behind a young son and daughter after overdosing on opiates in 2012 at 29-years-old. More than 1,000 people gathered to mourn Joey's passing at a funeral in Illinois, where family and friends remembered him as a "loving father."
In 2008, the Double Shot at Love contestant was killed in a car accident shortly after production wrapped on the dating competition. Producers did not edit Hutchinson out of any scenes, and dedicated an episode to her in her honor.
A series regular on Viva La Bam and uncle to Bam Margera, the outrageous "Don Vito" died in 2015 at 59 after years of health problems linked to organ failure. Following the series' conclusion in 2006, Margera was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault on a minor and sentenced to 10 years of probation.