HGTV Stars You Might Not Know Died

HGTV is a place for positivity, for change, and for new life. It's the network that viewers turn to for comforting, aspirational, vicarious entertainment, consisting primarily of shows about people fixing up old houses and making them beautiful again, buying the perfect new dream home for their growing family, indulging in a second house or vacation home, or selling their house and enjoying the financial windfall that results. Every show on HGTV seems to have a happy ending in some way, but the journey is just as low-key pleasant as the destination, what with its crews of smiling, attractive, capable TV stars doing carpentry, masonry, and real estate tasks.

But the people on HGTV, as perfect and self-motivated as they may seem, are just people, after all, and people are mortal. While their image and work will live forever in reruns and weekend marathons on HGTV (not to mention all the work they've done to buildings and homes over the years), these notable network stars have passed away. Here are all the HGTV stars you might not know have died.

Frank 'The Tank' Miller of Flip or Flop

"Flip or Flop" is one of HGTV's most popular and enduring series, with each of its more than 100 episodes focusing on a single property in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas over the full process of buying, renovating, and reselling at a profit (or "flipping"). It stars the no-longer-married team of designer Christina Haack and real estate investor Tarek El Moussa. The unofficial third member of the team was certainly as hard-working as Haack and El Moussa: Frank Miller, aka "Frank the Tank." He was the "Flip or Flop" contractor of choice who actually led the construction and renovation processes as on time and as on budget as possible.

Miller had an aggressive form of laryngeal cancer. Following an emergency hospitalization in July 2017, per El Moussa's Instagram, Miller's condition continued to degrade into the fall. While he was in the treatment process, Miller appeared on an episode of "The Doctors" and shared this message: "What I want for others, to not give up, 'cause there are people who care, people who love you, people who don't even know you." In November 2017, Tarek El Moussa announced on Instagram that Miller had died. El Moussa paid tribute to "Frank the Tank" in his caption, writing (in part), "Good bye My dear friend Frank. I have always looked up to you and have respected you as a brother. You have touched not only myself and my family but thousands and thousands around the world."

Bill Beckwith of Curb Appeal

Bill Beckwith had a long resume that proved his skills with little more than some tools and wood, years before he ever came close to HGTV. According to the Television Academy, Beckwith was raised on a vegetable farm in Maine, and his summer job during college was restoring "cabins at a fly-fishing retreat in Wyoming." He later became licensed as a contractor and started BB Design Build, his construction company.

He was an expert at what he'd do for two seasons as a resident carpenter and co-host of the early 2000s iteration of "Curb Appeal," HGTV's improve-home-then-sell reality series. Beckwith worked alongside the franchise's recurring star, John Gidding.

On December 2, 2013, according to CBS SF BayArea, Beckwith was riding his motorcycle in the Lower Haight neighborhood near his home in San Francisco when he crashed with another vehicle. The HGTV host was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital where he succumbed to the injuries incurred and was pronounced dead. Beckwith was 38 years old. His network offered a statement (via the Television Academy): "The HGTV family is deeply saddened by Bill's tragic death and we mourn his loss along with his many family and friends, who will miss his creativity, adventurous spirit and general love of life."

Chris Hyndman of Designer Guys

Raised in Newfoundland, Canada, according to CBC News, Chris Hyndman found a fruitful personal and professional path when he joined the Sabados Group design company in 1992. Hyndman and founder Steven Sabados fell in love, got married, and starred on numerous hours of TV together in the 2000s, both on the CBC in Canada and on HGTV, including "So Chic with Steven and Chris," "Design Rivals," and "Designer Guys."

Apart from the home, design, and interior style shows, Hyndman and Sabados hosted the popular CBC talk show "Steven and Chris" from 2008 to 2015. The reason the popular series ended: Sabados and the CBC agreed to shut down production on "Steven and Chris" following the death of Hyndman in August 2015. Sabados said in his official message via the network, "Some of the best times in my life have been at the CBC — creating an incredible show with Christopher by my side and a fantastic team behind the scenes. That being said, it's impossible for me to even imagine continuing the show without him." 

Hyndman was discovered deceased one evening on a street near his Toronto apartment. Authorities didn't reveal a cause of death, and while no criminal investigation resulted (per the CBC), Hyndman's mother thought the TV host died during a sleepwalking episode. Hyndman was 49. 

Suzanne Whang of House Hunters

According to the Brown Alumni Magazine, Suzanne Whang was a popular indie and underground comedian. She won the Andy Kaufman Award, given to standup comedians who best embody the innovative, envelope-pushing style of its namesake, via her stage persona Sung Hee Park, a tactless Korean woman used to mock stereotypical views of Asian women. From the late 1990s through the 2010s, Whang frequently popped up on TV comedies, including "Arrested Development" and "The Mick," along with the dramas "General Hospital," "Dexter," and "Las Vegas," where she had a recurring role as manicurist Polly.

Away from standup comedy and scripted television, Whang was most strongly associated with "House Hunters," the signature program of HGTV and one of its longest-running hits. Whang served as the face and voice of the series about people trying to locate and buy their most perfect forever home, from its beginning in 1999 up until 2011, when she moved on to appear on other TV shows, fictional and reality-based. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Whang was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, and 13 years later, she died after suffering the effects of the disease. Per a Facebook post (via Deadline) from her partner Jeff Vezain, Whang died at home in Los Angeles in September 2019. She was 56. HGTV aptly noted in their statement, "Suzanne was warm, funny and kind with a distinctive voice that made everyone feel at home."