Cassandra Anne “Angie” Jakusz, a former contestant on season 10 of CBS’ reality show “Survivor,” died Jan. 8. She was 40 years old.
Jakusz was born and raised in Waukesha, Wis. but lived in New Orleans, La. at the time of her entry onto “Survivor: Palau.” Prior to living in New Orleans, Jakusz resided in San Francisco and New York City.
A former “Survivor: Palau” contestant who competed with Jakusz, Coby Archa, told People Magazine that Jakusz’s family made it public that Jakusz had cancer.
“We had heard from her family 3 years ago that she was battling cancer,” Archa said. “We raised some money for her treatments. She wasn’t into the fame, just the experience of Survivor. She came, she played, and she went back to her life in New Orleans. She liked her life that way.”
An obituary for Jakusz reads, “Angie was an incredibly passionate person with an extraordinary lust for life. Whether she was sewing, painting, drawing, doing nail art or makeup, costuming, reading, snorkeling, scuba diving, traveling or just raising hell, she did it lovingly and with laser precision. She was a founding member of the New Orleans Noise Coalition and had been a contestant on season 10 of ‘Survivor.'”
Jakusz turned heads on Season 10 of “Survivor” in 2005, mostly because of her unique looks (piercings, dreadlocks and tattoos made her look more alternative than most reality show contestants at the time on CBS) and ability to survive several tribal council elimination meetings. During her run on the show, she earned the nickname “No Fun Angie.”
“People have to remember back in 2005 women weren’t cast on ‘Survivor’ with dreads and tattoos,” Archa added. “She broke the casting barrier. Fans related to her story so much. And a lot of people wanted to see her play again for her strength.”
Jakusz is survived by her husband Steven Calandra, whom she was married to for nine years.
Other notable “Survivor” alums who have passed away included Season 1’s Rudy Boesch, the former Navy SEAL who competed on Season 1 at the age of 72, and Jakusz’s “Paula” castmate Jenn Lyon, who died after battling breast cancer.