Ralph Kiser, the Virginia farmer who finished in eighth place on the 22nd season of “Survivor,” has died, the show confirmed on Twitter.
“The Survivor family extends our deepest condolences to the family of Ralph Kiser,” host Jeff Probst wrote on the show’s Twitter account. “His huge smile, his positive attitude and of course his infectious rooster crow made him one of the most likable to ever play Survivor.”
People reports Kiser died on Wednesday morning after suffering a heart attack. He was 56.
According to the magazine, Kiser applied for the show several times before finally appearing on its “Redemption Island” season in 2010, when he was 44.
“I’ve wanted to be on the show for years and knew one day I’d get my chance,” his official CBS biography at the time said. “I want to be a hometown hero for the folks back home!”
Kiser lived in Lebanon, Virginia.
“I’m a mountain man,” he said. “I know plants, trees and what most of their uses are. I can also build anything; start a fire anywhere and make people believe anything I say[.] I will be the king at camp because I can build shelter, cook, find food and be the leader.”
He became a fan favorite and ended the game in eighth place, KTLA sister station WFLA reported.
“It was the time of my life,” he told People after the competition. “I’d do it again over and over.”
According to his obituary, Kiser is survived by his two daughters, girlfriend, ex-wife, mother, sister and two brothers. He was preceded in death by his daughter Sarah.