For reality-TV fans, the June 26, 2019, death of Beth Chapman was a tough one. The wife of famed bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, and a licensed bail bond agent in her own right, Beth Chapman was a beloved reality-TV star via her and her husband's hit show, Dog the Bounty Hunter.
The Colorado-born, tough-as-nails blond bombshell married Duane Chapman in 2006, though they'd been a couple, personally and professionally, for years before that.
From 2004-2012, the two starred together on A&E's Dog the Bounty Hunter, which gave viewers a peek into a career of tracking down criminals, as well as a look at the chaotic, but loving, home life of the Chapman family.
Throughout her years in the spotlight, Beth Chapman was extremely open with fans about her personal life, including her eventual health challenges with Stage 2 throat cancer. Chapman tweeted and Instagrammed about everything she was going through, including her self-consciousness about her surgical scars, and her decision to not treat her returning cancer with chemotherapy.
Beth Chapman and her husband chronicled her illness, her treatment and their large, blended-family's faith in the 2017 TV special, Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives.
After Beth Chapman's passing, many members of the Chapman clan shared tributes on social media. Beth Chapman's celebrity friends, such as Snoop Dogg and Wynonna Judd, also marked her passing with Instagram posts full of gratitude for her friendship -- and condolences to her family.
Here's a look back at the life of reality-star Beth Chapman.
Denver is also the hometown of Duane Chapman, seen here as a teen in the 1960s. The son of a bail bondsman, Duane would go onto find fame as the bounty hunter known as “Dog.”
Chapman met Dog when she was arrested after being accused of shoplifting. At the time, she was carrying an unlicensed gun, and was already wanted for unpaid parking tickets. Chapman's father hired Dog to bail her out.
In order to spend more time with Dog, Chapman set out to become, at age 29, the youngest licensed bail bond agent in the state of Colorado. “... I knew that if I wrote a whole bunch of bad bail, that the bounty hunter would have to come and sit in my office so he could go and chase my fugitives. So, I wrote all this bad bail so I could spend more time with him, and it worked,” she said during an interview with A&E.
In 2003, Dog made world news by capturing serial rapist Andrew Luster, an heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune. Luster was hiding under an assumed name, and living in Mexico when Dog got him.
Due to the widespread publicity around the Luster case, Dog was featured on the A&E TV series Take This Job, a reality show about people with offbeat careers.
Dog’s Take This Job segment caught the attention of the network suits. A&E set out to create a series around Dog, his staff and his life.
By the time they married, the couple each had children from previous relationships, as well as two children together: Bonnie Chapman and Gary Chapman.
Beth Chapman and her husband were good friends with Snoop Dogg. The rapper even posted a tribute to Beth Chapman and a special message to Dog on his Instagram page when she died. "Beth. R.I.P. Miss u auntie. Dogg. Be strong know that she made a transition and she has no more pain," he wrote in a post. Beth Chapman was also friends with Wynonna Judd.
After Beth Chapman's cancer diagnosis, Chapman and Dog filmed a two-hour A&E special about her battle, Dog & Beth: Fight of Their Lives. “You know, we’ve just shared everything and it’s a mistake to try and hide things from your fans," she said in an interview with KTLA-TV.
In November 2017, Beth Chapman announced she'd been declared cancer-free.
Beth Chapman took to social media to share photos of her surgical scars, post-tumor removal. “Today I reveal my worst battle scar and know that things will get better in #2018 #secondchances #DogandBeth #battlescars,” she wrote on Instagram.
In February 2019, Beth Chapman revealed her cancer had returned.
Beth Chapman chose not to undergo chemotherapy for her second bout of cancer. "Chemotherapy is not my bag, people. That is not for me,” she said during a live-streamed speech from The Source Church in Bradenton, Florida. "For me, this is the ultimate test of faith. This is my ultimate lesson. And it’ll either be taught to you or to me."
Even amidst her battle with cancer, Beth Chapman still tended to family holiday traditions, like a trip to her and Dog's favorite Colorado pub on Christmas Day.
In 2018, the Chapmans announced that they would be returning to television with the 10-part WGN series, Dog’s Most Wanted. The show has not yet aired.
Beth Chapman and Dog welcomed their first great-grandchild in January 2019.
Despite her fragile health, Beth Chapman shared on Twitter in April 2019 that she managed to hike Makapuʻu Point in Hawaii.
Beth Chapman told fans on Twitter that her favorite episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter is the episode "The Santa Hunt," because it stars her son Gary.
When a Columbine-massacre-obsessed teen struck fear in Colorado in April 2019, an ailing Beth Chapman and Dog joined the manhunt to find her.
In May 2019, Beth Chapman and Dog captured one of America’s most-wanted fugitives: Leonard Trujillo, Jr., suspected of multiple offenses, including armed robbery. “This guy’s record is horrendous,” Dog said in a statement. “He has terrorized this peaceful town enough. He tried to run – but you can’t hide from me! We are making America safe again, one city at a time.”
In June 2019, Beth Chapman was put into a medically induced coma following a choking emergency.
Beth Chapman passed away in Honolulu surrounded by her family on June 26, 2019.
In August 2019, Bonnie Chapman told SurvivorNet that although her late mother entered remission for throat cancer, it didn't last, and the cancer metastasized to her lungs.
"A lot of places have been reporting that she passed away to her throat cancer, but it was actually Stage 4 lung cancer in the end," Bonnie Chapman said.
Dog has been married five times. His longest marriage was to Beth Chapman, from 2006 to her death in 2019.
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