Chelsi Smith, a winner of both Miss USA and Miss Universe in 1995, has reportedly passed away from cancer at the age of 45.
Smith was considered a trailblazer in the pageant world. She became the first biracial winner of Miss USA. Daniel Lara, her longtime friend, told Radar Online, “She had the biggest heart, was so genuine and truly wanted happiness for us all. She’s already missed.”
Chelsi Smith was also an actress and made appearances on Martin, Due South and even the TLC documentary, The History of the Bathing Suit.
Another one of her friends, Shanna Moakler, took to Instagram to post a tribute to Smith. “If it wasn’t for her, her beauty and her energy, her incredible destiny, I wouldn’t even be where I am today,” she captioned under a post of numerous pic of the two women. “Even when she was sick she was positive and radiant and never stopped laughing.”
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Having a hard time writing this. Found out the news of my good friend passing. I really don't know how to express to the world what a funny, loving, smart! She was so fucking smart... to smart for her own good and talented young woman she was. Because her light was so big and so bright, she changed my life. If it wasn't for her, her beauty and her energy, her incredible destiny, I wouldn't even be where I am today. Even when she was sick she was positive and radiant and never stopped laughing. I was crying and she was cheering me up! Thats who she was. Chelsi, I will never forget our long nights talking, singing, fighitng, dreaming... pageantry will never be the same, the world and my heart will not be the same. I will cherish my last conversations with you, I wish I was a better friend or could have done more. I know you are meant for bigger things then this world offered you. Visit me in my dreams queen I will be missing you and all your witty banter. Love love love you. Godspeed.
Our thoughts are with Chelsi Smith’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Photo: PHILIP LITTLETON/AFP/Getty Images