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'Wicked Tuna' Star Dies Unexpectedly At 28

We're just seven months into 2018 and we've already lost many celebrities, from fashion designers and musicians, to chefs and television stars.  

In the last few weeks, it seems like the deaths keep happening more often than usual. Just a day ago, it was announced that Elmarie Wendel, the actress who played Mrs. Mamie Dubcek, the Solomon family's eccentric landlord, on 3rd Rock From The Sun, has passed away at the age of 89.

It was Wendel's daughter, JC Wendel, that broke the news of her passing in a sweet tribute on Instagram.

She shared a photo of her mom alongside the rest of the show's cast, and captioned it with: "#ripelmariewendel you were a great mom and a badass dame."

While the Iowa-born actress's family, fans and colleagues are mourning her loss, across the country, another group of television stars are also dealing with the death of their co-star.

Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge, one of the stars of National Geographic Channel's Wicked Tuna and its spin-off Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, has reportedly died at the age of 28.

The sad news was announced on the reality show's official Twitter account on June 22.

"@NatGeoChannel and @Pilgrim_Studios were saddened to learn that 'Wicked Tuna' cast member Nicholas “Duffy” Fudge passed away this week," read the tweet. "Duffy was the first mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin’s fishing vessel, Pinwheel. We join his family and friends in mourning his untimely loss."

Since Fudge died at such a young age, people began speculating about his cause of death soon after the news broke. While no official cause was revealed, his obituary on the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home website, says he "passed away unexpectedly," on July 19.

A moment of silence was observed during the show's latest episode in honor of its late star.

"As a memorial for Duffy, we will be having a moment of silence on our Twitter during tonight’s episode,” the series tweeted. "Rest In Peace."

Even as a young boy, Fudge always showed an interest in fishing and it was an activity he did often with his grandfather, according to his obituary.

People.com

In the world of sport fishing, Fudge was in the top spot for a while and that earned him a place on Wicked Tuna, which shines a light on the lives and dangerous careers of Gloucester, Massachusetts-based tuna fishermen, for multiple seasons.

"Nick also treasured the environment and he took seriously his responsibility to protect it," continued the obituary. "His presence could light up any room and he had a heart of gold. He was known for his smile, his fearlessness, his adventurous spirit, his mischievous sense of humor, and giving big hugs."

Fudge, who would've turned 29 on August 1, is survived by his parents, brother, grandparents, "numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and many, many friends."

It's never easy losing a loved one, especially when they're so young. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fudge's family during this very difficult time.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.