'Survivor' Alum Rudy Boesch Not Dead Amid Recent Rumors, Suffers From Alzheimer's According to Family

Rudy Boesch, who was on the first season of Survivor and remains the oldest person to compete on [...]

Rudy Boesch, who was on the first season of Survivor and remains the oldest person to compete on the show, is not dead, despite recent rumors that he is. However, his daughter revealed to TMZ Thursday that he was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He is now living in an assisted-living facility in Virginia Beach.

Boesch's daughter said he is in an advanced stage of Alzheimer's, meaning he needs round-the-clock care. His doctors have not said he is "necessarily at the end stage," TMZ reports.

Boesch, 91, was on the first season of Survivor back in 2000, working in an alliance with the eventual winner, Richard Hatch. He was 72 when he appeared on the show and finished in third place. He also appeared on Survivor: All-Stars in 2003, finishing in 17th place.

In 1945, Boesch joined the U.S. Navy and was one of the first members of the new SEAL Team TWO. He also saw combat in the Vietnam War and did not retire until 1990. He earned a Bronze Star Medal for his heroic actions in Vietnam. After gaining fame on Survivor, Boesch suddenly became a star, appearing on other reality shows and even in an episode of JAG. In 2015, the Virginian-Pilot reported he was living at First Colonial Inn and was still active with physical games.

"Regular exercise truly helps you feel better," Boesch said at the time. "For years, I've jogged and worked out at a gym, and because I've kept fit I was able to compete on 'Survivor' twice. I like helping others realize their potential."

Boesch's wife died in 2005 and he has three daughters. He lived in the same Virginia Beach home for more than 60 years before he moved to an assisted-living facility. He also had open heart surgery in 2006.

"I felt like a million," he told the Virginian-Pilot of the surgery in a 2014 interview. "In fact, I was up drinkin' coffee with the nurses at 3 a.m. that morning (after the surgery)."

During the same interview, Boesch complained about getting old and not being able to work out as much as he liked.

"I just hate getting old – it's slowing me down," he said in 2014. "I don't jog anymore 'cuz my knees hurt and stuff like that. I walk a lot and I am really slowing down walking."

The next season of Survivor premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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